A Brief History of Abruckner.com

A Brief History of Abruckner.com
Abruckner.com was first known as "The Anton Bruckner Symphony Version Discography.” It was started by a group of Bruckner enthusiasts that were linked together through an Internet user group known as “The Bruckner Forum.” Forum member, Lani Spahr volunteered to edit and update the discography and he did this for many years. At that time, the discography was simply a list that could be accessed via its own web page.

In the late 90’s I was invited to join the forum since I was writing to Mr. Spahr with additions and suggestions for the discographic listing. I was also pestering him for updates since I was using the list to fill out my Bruckner collection to ensure that I had at least one recording of each version and each edition.

Being a self-proclaimed obsessive compulsive, the acquisition process began to take on a life of its own as I continued to acquire any listed recordings. At one point, Lani suggested that I actually take over the editorship of the list since I was obviously working with it continually and his activities with the ensemble, Tafelmusik were restricting his time on the project. I agreed to do so and for about a year, this list grew in its then current form.

On Christmas Day, 2001, my son Matthew presented me with the gift of a new web address (www.abruckner.com) and a website template to expand the discography into other areas. At first, the discography was simply cut and pasted into the new webpage, but with the help of the site’s webmaster, John Waiveris of Invisible Gold, new features were added. The biggest job was the transfer of all the existing discography data from a text document into a relational database. That allowed for search and sort options as well as a much cleaner presentation. Over the years, new features were added: An Editor’s Section, a Webstore, Downloads, Articles and Graphics, Discographic Horrors; Bruckner’s Music in the Movies, etc. – in addition to bi-monthly newsletters and updates.

Some of the most recent additions have been the addition of the Bruckner Archive and the web pages of the Bruckner Society of America. With these added features, viewership of the website increased and such events as the annual Brucknerathon and the Bruckner Tours of Austria became a possibility.

As the website was growing, it was meshing very well with my work as the Executive Director of the SummerWind Performing Arts Center in my hometown of Windsor, Connecticut. Due to the unfortunate collapse of the art center’s singular canopy during a snow storm, performances were halted and the organization entered into protracted legal battles with the manufacturer and their insurance company. This slow process afforded me the time to work on abruckner.com, but when the arts center went back online (after six years!), the work load rapidly increased. Soon afterwards, I submitted my resignation to the SummerWind board of directors to that I could devote more time to what was clearly becoming my retirement project – this Anton Bruckner website.