Henryk Wieniawski

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Wieniawski, Henryk

 

Born July 10, 1835, in Lublin; died Mar. 31 (Apr. 12), 1880, in Moscow. Polish violinist and composer.

Wieniawski graduated from the Paris Conservatory in 1846 in J. L. Massart’s violin class and in 1850 in H. Colet’s composition class. From 1848 he toured many European countries, and during 1872-74 he performed in the USA with A. G. Rubinstein. Between 1860 and 1872, Wieniawski was court soloist. From 1862 to 1868 he was a professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and from 1875 to 1877, at the Brussels Conservatory.

Wieniawski was one of the most important representatives of the romantic performing art. A virtuosic scope, rhythmic force, and flights of fantasy were combined in his playing with an intimate lyricism. Wieniawski enriched the violin repertoire with his own works, especially his development of the violin genre piece and artistic étude. His concerti, polonaises, mazurkas, and other pieces were distinguished by the national characteristics of Polish instrumental style. Tchaikovsky saw in Wieniawski an “inimitable violinist of his kind and a gifted composer.” Wieniawski died during a concert tour of Russia. International music competitions have been named after Wieniawski (a competition for violinists in Warsaw from 1935, revived in 1952 in Poznań; since 1957, for composers and violin masters as well).

REFERENCES

Iampol’skii, I. Genrik Veniavskii. Moscow, 1955.
Grigor’ev, V. Genrik Veniavskii. Moscow, 1966.
Henryk Wieniawski: Kronika zycia. Kraków, 1967. (Contains a dis- cography, pp. 285-91.)

I. M. IAMPOL’SKII

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As Leopold Auer reminisces: Henri Wieniawski was delightful company; he was always saying something which provoked laughter, always full of plays on words and of anecdotes.