Anton Webern, born in 1883 in Vienna, was in his youth an enthusiastic admirer of Wagner and wanted to study with Hans Pfitzner, but he then made the acquaintance of Arnold Schönberg, whose pupil he became in 1904. Webern became within a few years the most consistent composer of new music in Vienna. The dissonant free tonality flowed inevitably into the dodecaphonic style, whose extreme harmonic compression entailed aphoristic brevity. Unlike any other composer before him, he understood how to realise this, and achieve in the smallest musical space, a maximum of structure and expression. He was idolised as a god of the serial post-war avant-garde. His music amalgamates the most sensitive timbres with melodic sensitivity and crystalline clarity with severity. On 15 September 1945 Anton Webern was shot in Mittersill by an American soldier.