Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, he moved to Vienna in 1921 and studied with Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, becoming a faithful disciple of their atonal expressionist techniques. He won the Hertzka Prize for his Requiem (1937), inspired by Berg's death. In 1938 Apostel's music was banned as "degenerate" by the Nazis but he continued to write in his own manner, supporting himself through private teaching. After World War II he headed the Austrian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and won several state awards. From the late 1950s he composed in the strict serial method of Webern. Overall he remained essentially a romantic, finding much inspiration in the visual arts, though he was ambivalent towards applying programs to his music. His output includes the "Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn" (1949), two String Quartets (1935, 1956), a Piano Concerto (1958), the Chamber Symphony (1967), and several chamber pieces and songs. Apostel also edited performing versions of Berg's operas "Wozzeck" and "Lulu".
Bio by Robert Edwards