Leopold Spinner

Composer and editor, born 26 April 1906 in Lemberg (Galicia, now Ukraine), died on 12 August 1980 in London.


Born in the Ukraine in 1906 to Austrian parents and later moving to Vienna in 1914, Leopold Spinner studied musicology and composition at the University of Vienna. Whilst living in Vienna, Spinner came to know Arnold Schoenberg but it was during his studies with Anton Webern he gained most of his compositional style. With the Anchluss of Austria in 1938, Spinner fled to England to escape Nazi persecution. During the war he worked in a locomotive factory in Yorkshire, but gained employment at Boosey & Hawkes in 1947 where he became chief editor and remained until his retirement in 1975.  Although he isolated himself somewhat from the post-Webern Darmstadt school that he was close to, his works have been championed by many, including; Heinz Holliger, Reinbert de Leeuw, Ensemble Modern and RSO Wien.

Links and sources

Leopold Spinner in the University of Hamburg online database of musicians persecuted during the Nazi Period

Michael Graubart (1974). The Music of Leopold Spinner: A Preliminary Study. Tempo, pp 2-14 

Elsewhere in this resource

Alexander Goehr interview

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