Berg, Alban (Maria Johannes)
- Douglas Jarman
(b Vienna, Feb 9, 1885; d Vienna, Dec 24, 1935). Austrian composer. Along with his teacher Arnold Schoenberg and fellow pupil Anton Webern in the years before and immediately after World War I, he moved away from tonality to write free atonal and then 12-note music. At once a modernist and a Romantic, a formalist and a sensualist, he produced one of the richest bodies of music in the 20th century, and in opera, especially, he had few equals.
He was the third of four children of Johanna and Conrad Berg, at 8 Tuchlauben in the central district of Vienna, a few hundred yards from the Stephansdom. With an estate in Carinthia (the Berghof), a number of properties in Vienna and the income from a thriving export business, the Berg family lived comfortably until the death of Berg's father, in 1900, ushered in a difficult time for the family as a whole and for the young Berg in particular. A disastrous school career culminated in his having to repeat both his sixth year in ...