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SCHONBERG, ARNOLD (1874-1951).

Composer. One of the masters of modern music, Schonberg gained international acclaim early in Austria and Germany with his Verklarte Nacht for strings and the Gurrelieder. In the years before World War I he evolved his controversial “twelve-tone principle,” a theory of composition which abandoned the harmonic tonality of traditional western music. His compositions on Jewish themes include Kol Nidre, in the twelve-tone system; A Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, a cantata for solo, chorus, and orchestra; Moses and Aaron, an opera; and Die Jakobsleiter, an unfinished oratorio. Schonberg was a teacher of genius as well as a composer and conductor. Fleeing Nazi persecution in 1934, he settled in the U.S., and taught at the University of California until his death.

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