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Violinist & Composer Henryk Wieniawski Died on This Day in 1880

Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski died on this day in 1880 - aged just 44


Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski died on this day in 1880 - aged just 44.

Henryk Wieniawski was born in Lublin, which is located in modern-day Poland.

Henryk's talent for the violin was recognized, gaining early admission to the Paris Conservatoire in 1843 under the tutelage of Lambert Massart. Despite being only eight years old and not French, exceptions were made for his admission. He remained at the Conservatoire from 1843 to 1846 and returned for an additional year in 1849.

Following his graduation, Henryk embarked on extensive tours, delighting audiences with numerous recitals, often accompanied by his brother Józef on piano. In 1847, he marked the beginning of his opus catalogue with the publication of his first work, the Grand Caprice Fantastique, which was the first of 24 opus numbers to come.

At Anton Rubinstein's invitation, Wieniawski relocated to St. Petersburg, where he lived from 1860 to 1872. During his time there, he taught numerous violin students and led both the orchestra and string quartet of the Russian Musical Society. Between 1872 and 1874, Wieniawski toured the United States alongside Rubinstein. Then, in 1875, he took over as the violin professor at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, succeeding Henri Vieuxtemps.

While living in Brussels, Wieniawski's health deteriorated, frequently forcing him to stop mid concert. In 1879, he embarked on a tour of Russia but was forced to abandon it after falling ill and being hospitalized in Odessa following a performance. He passed away from a heart attack in Moscow on March 31, 1880, at 44 years old.

Today he is remembered as one of the greatest violin virtuosi of all time, Wieniawski's violin concertos, etude-caprices and bravura works serve as cornerstones of today’s virtuosic violin repertoire.



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