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Ernst Toch

1887 Wien - 1964 Santa Monica, Ca.
Ernst Toch,born December 7, 1889 in Vienna as son of Moritz Toch, merchant in leather, and Gisela Toch, née Graf, composer, teacher. From 1902 to 1905 he studied harmonics and counterpoint at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. The early death of his father forces him to break up his studies, but already in 1907 his first string quartet is performed by the famous Rosé Quartet, for which he is awarded the Mozart-Prize of the City of Frankfurt. Until 1912 he studies piano with Willy Rehberg and composition with Iwan Knorr at the Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium in Frankfurt. 1910 Mendelssohn-Prize for composition, 1911 the first of 4 Study Prizes of the City of Vienna for composition. Staying at the music festival Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 1933 he starts to organize his exile. In London he writes the score for 'The Rise of Catherine the Great' (Paul Czinner, Alexander Korda) and in the same year emigrated to the USA. After a teaching position at the New School for Social Research, in 1936 he migrates to Los Angeles, mainly composing for the film industry. In 1940 he starts teaching at the University of Southern California, later on he gives guest lectures at Harvard University. His most important publication 'The Shaping Forces in Music' (1948) contains these lectures. He often visited Europe after 1949 but his wish to return never came true. Ernst Toch passed away October 1, 1964 in Sta. Monica Selection of works: 1926 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 1927 Chamber opera 'Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse', 1928 opera 'Egon and Emilie', 1930 'Fuge aus Geographie' and operatic cappricio 'Der Fächer', 1935 'Big Ben'. Music for films: 1934 'The Rise of Catherine the Great', 1937 'Outcast' and 1940 'The Cat and the Canary'. 1941 'Cantata of the Bitter Herbs', 1962 'The Last Tale'; 1950-1964 7 full-scale symphonies. Update Primavera Driessen Gruber September 9, 2015


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Ernst Toch




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