Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
August 19
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George Enescu
1881-1955
Georges Enescu was born in August 19, 1881 in Liveni, Romania.  He began playing violin when just 4 years old,  and entered the Vienna Conservatoire as an accomplished violinist when he was only 7.  Even at that time he had decided that he would be a composer. By 1890 He was being called a "Romanian Mozart."  He studied under Joseph Hellmesberger, Robert Fuchs, and Sigismond Bachrich graduated with distinction from Conservatoire before his 13th birthday
It was just a trial run, but West Side Story premiered on this date.  This tragic love story deals with members of two New York City gangsCan You Guess the names of the gangs?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
Tony (of the Jets) and Maria (of the Sharks) fell in love. 

Did you see the c
olor clues?
1750 - Antonio Salieri,  Italian composer and teacher of  Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt, was born.  Some sources indicate August 18.

1927 - Premiere of Schonberg's String Quartet #3. By the Kolisch Quartet, in Vienna.

1957 - Premiere of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story in Washington D.C.  A trial run at the National Theater.

1964 - Beatles began their first American concert tour,

1990 - Last concert appearance before death of Leonard Bernstein. He conducted the Boston Symphony in Britten's Three Sea Interludes from 'Peter Grimes' and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
In 1895 Enescu moved to Paris to study violin with Armand Marsick, harmony with André Géldage, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.  When Enescu was still only 13, Massenet wrote to Enescu's father, "Your son is an exceptional individual; his is the most interesting musical constitution there can be".  Completed in 1895, and probably debuted by Enescu himself in 1896, the Ballade for Violin and Orchestra (op. 4a) was apparently the first instrumental solo premiered, followed in 1897 by his Sonata for Violin and Piano (op. 2).  By the age of 16 he had written four Study Symphonies. 

But don't be deceived into believing that Enescu had given up the violin.  July 25, 1898 George Enescu won second prize (in a field of 33 competitors) in the Paris Conservatoire's violin competition for his execution of Viotti's Concerto No.29.  August 2, 1899 he won the Grand Prize in the Academy of Paris's violin competition.

Thus began a brilliant career as both violinist and composer.

Enescu travelled widely, but always seemed to return to Romania.  He resided in Paris for several periods, and made serveral tours abroad.
Another contribution Enescu made to the music world was his mentoring of the young Yehudi Menuhin beginning in 1928.  In addition to teaching young Menuhin, Enescu and Menuhin collaborated in several concerts through 1950.
Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis and Arthur Grumiaux were also mentored by Enescu.

By the time Enescu died in his hometown on May 4, 1955,  Enescu had become internationally known as violinist and composer.  He had served on juries for numerous international violin competitions.  He had composed for solo instruments, quartets, chamber ensembles and orchestras, as well as in the field of opera.  He promoted contemporary Romanian music, playing works by Constantin Silvestri, Mihail Jora, Ionel Perlea and Martian Negrea.

Enescu was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.   The Symphony Orchestra of Bucharest is named in Enescu's honor, and the city is also home to a museum, established in his memory.
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