Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 - 13 July 1951)
An Austrian who became an American composer noted for leading the Second Viennese School of German poetry and art, Schoenberg and his brother Heinrich were born in Vienna to Pauline Nachod and shoe vendor Samuel Schoenberg.
With his first wife Mathilde (died 1923), he had two children. In 1924 he married Gertrud Kolisch, and they had three children.
Largely self-taught, he lived in his 20s by orchestrating operettas while composing such early works as the strong sextet Verklä Nacht (Transfigured Night, 1899).
In his works, he searched for a personal music style, which was not well-received. His Chamber Symphony caused a riot at its first performance in 1907, critics complaining of its abandonment of the traditional concept of tonality.
At the end of World War 1, he taught in Vienna and Berlin. Exiled by the Nazi government in 1933, he was accused of creating degenerate art, alongside jazz. He became known for his concept of "12-note" or "serial" music, used in most of his later works. Although he was not popular with the general public, his biographers and some contemporary composers have suggested that he influenced 210th century music more than any other composer.
He used the spelling Schöenberg until after his move to the United States in the 1930s "in deference to American practice."
Schoenberg settled in California and took U.S. nationality in 1941. He was a professor at Malkin Conservatory in Boston, the University of Southern California (1935 - 1936) and the University of California at Los Angeles (1936 to 1944).
Raised Catholic by his Jewish-born parents, he converted in 1898 to Lutheranism and in 1933 converted to Judaism.
(See Nancy Bogen's extensive website with photographs about the Schoenbergs.)