Linz, the summer of 1861. Anton Bruckner sits hunched over a sheet of music paper. He is doing his homework. Today the curriculum set by his teacher Otto Kitzler includes a dance. In itself, not an unusual situation for a student; at least, were the “student”, Anton Bruckner, not already 37 years old. After six years of intensive instruction in music theory with Simon Sechter, he has now decided to also study “free composition”. And so once again, he has elected to return to the school benches, this time under the tutelage of the Linz conductor Otto Kitzler. Again, theory is the core subject, but this time placed in a more practical setting, dealing with form and instrumentation. For Bruckner is interested in composing. On July 10, 1863, after two years of study, he feels ready and receives his requested, formal “acquittal” from Kitzler, as was formerly given to the apprentice. Now, once again he is staring down at his sheet of music paper: the familiar blank page that needs to be filled. With bold ideas, new concepts, individual solutions. Although Bruckner probably never actually said that he felt “like a yard dog, which has broken loose from its chain” (Max Auer probably pu these words in the composer’s mouth) after his acquittal, he now felt safe in his acquired creative freedom.