Ernst Toch was considered one of the great avant-garde composers in the pre-Nazi era, and like many other artists and musicians, went into exile when Hitler came to power.
He main instrument was the piano, and he was a pianist of concert stature. Much of his creative output aimed toward the piano. He was a self-taught composer, and in a America he came to instruct new generations of composers. This period lasted from 1934 to 58. His works often inhibits a humorous aspect (Bunte Suite (1929)). In 1930 he invented "Gesprochene Musik" (spoken music). He wrote music for films, symphonies, chamber music, chamber operas. He also wrote books dealing with musical theory: Melodielehre (1923) and "The Shaping Forces in Music" (1948).
(contributed by Hallstein Lunde <halsteinbgnett.no>)