Spitzmüller (-Harmersbach), Alexander, Freiherr von

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Spitzmüller (-Harmersbach), Alexander, Freiherr von

Spitzmüller (-Harmersbach), Alexander, Freiherr von, Austrian composer; b. Vienna, Feb. 22, 1894; d. Paris, Nov. 12, 1962. His father was the last finance minister of Austria-Hungary. He studied law at the Univ. of Vienna (D.Jur., 1919); later took lessons in composition with Alban Berg and Hans Apostel. In 1928 he went to Paris, where he taught at the Schola Cantorum; also was active in radio broadcasting and as a music critic. In 1959 he was awarded the music prize of the city of Vienna. His early works are in the neoclassical vein; eventually he followed the method of composition with 12 tones, following its usage by Berg and Webern.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Der Diener zweier Herren (1958). Ba11et : Le premier amour de Don Juan (1954); L’impasse (1956); Die Sackgasse (1957); Le journal (1957); Construction humaine (1959). ORCH.: Sinfonietta ritmica (1933); 2 piano concertos (1937, 1953); Sym. (1939); Der 40. Mai, suite for Chamber Orch. (1941; Amsterdam, June 12, 1948); 3 hymnes à la Paix (1947); Sym. for Strings (1954). OTHER: Chamber music; choral works.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire