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He studied from 1930 to 1936 at the Musikhochschule München piano, organ, conducting and composition with Joseph Haas. From 1933 he moved to London, where he worked as a pianist and composer, co-operating with dancers, including Leslie Barrowes.
He married in 1936. He worked at the Munich radio station from 1936 to 1938. In 1939, he became professor of composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
He was a soldier in the final years of World War II, fighting on the Western front. After the war he worked as an organist and choral director in Mittersill, Austria. He met there Anton Webern, which made a significant impression on him. In 1947, he began to teach again at the Mozarteum, becoming eventually a professor.
In 1956, he married pianist Eleonore Jorhan.
Like his friend Carl Orff, he work in extensively in pedagogy.
In 1976 he won the Grand Austrian State Prize for music.
He died in Salzburg.
- de:Krabat (1982)
In german language
- "Im Anfang war der Rhythmus", Heinrichshofen Verlag 1977, ISBN 3-7959-0217-7
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