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George Enescu

George Enescu (Romanian pronunciation: 19 August 1881 – 4 May 1955), known in France as Georges Enesco, was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He is regarded by many as Romania's most important musician.

Enescu was born in Romania, in the village of Liveni (later renamed "George Enescu" in his honor), in Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu began experimenting with composing at an early age. Several, mostly very short pieces survive, all of them for violin and piano. The earliest work of significant length bears the title Pămînt românesc ("Romanian Land"), and is inscribed "opus for piano and violin by George Enescu, Romanian composer, aged five years and a quarter". Shortly thereafter, his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. On 5 October 1888, at the age of seven, he became the youngest student ever admitted to the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger Jr., Robert Fuchs, and Sigismund Bachrich. He was the second person ever admitted to this university by a dispensation of age (there was a regulation that stipulated that no person younger than 14 years could study at the Vienna Conservatory), after only Fritz Kreisler (in 1882, also at the age of seven), and the first non-Austrian.

In 1891, the ten-year-old Enescu gave a private concert at the Court of Vienna, in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph.

He graduated before his 13th birthday, earning the silver medal. In his Viennese concerts young Enescu played works by Brahms, Sarasate and Mendelssohn. In 1895 he went to Paris to continue his studies. He studied violin with Martin Pierre Marsick, harmony with André Gedalge, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Enescu then studied from 1895 to 1899 at the Conservatoire de Paris. André Gedalge said that he was "the only one [among his students] who truly had ideas and spirit"

He lived in Paris and in Romania, but after World War II and the Soviet occupation of Romania, he remained in Paris

He was also a noted violin teacher. Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, Serge Blanc, Ida Haendel, Uto Ughi and Joan Field were among his pupils.

On his death in 1955, George Enescu was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

 

 



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