Alfred Schnittke was born of Russian-German origins on 24 November 1934 in Engels, located in the Volga-German Republic in the USSR. In 1946, Schnittke began his musical education in Vienna, where his father had been posted as a journalist. By 1948, his father moved the family to Moscow where Schnittke would begin to study piano and choral conducting; from 1953 to 1958 he studied counterpoint, composition, and instrumentation at the Moscow Conservatory, and by 1962, Schnittke was appointed instructor in instrumentation. Noted for his hallmark "polystylistic" idiom, where music of different styles past and present are juxtaposed in close proximity, Schnittke composed in a wide range of genres and styles. His Concerto Grosso No.