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25th anniversary of the death of Mieczysław Weinberg

The days are now long behind us when composer Mieczysław Weinberg, standing in Dmitri Shostakovich’s long shadow, was less known internationally.  Today, numerous new productions, especially of Weinberg's operas “The Portrait”, "The Idiot" or “Lady Magnesia” are being staged.  And Weinberg’s instrumental music is also experiencing a true renaissance. Above all, the ravishing violin concerto, string quartets and piano sonatas. A few years ago, CD label NEOS began an extensive “Weinberg Edition” featuring many reference recordings and this continues to grow. On 26 February 2021 we are commemorating the 25th anniversary of Mieczysław Weinberg’s death.
Weinberg first studied piano with Józef Turczynski in his hometown of Warsaw before fleeing to Belarus in 1939 to escape the approaching Wehrmacht. Until 1941, he continued his studies at the Minsk Conservatory with Vasily Zolotarev. From 1943, he worked as a freelance composer and pianist in Moscow.  When falsely accused of promoting the idea of founding a Jewish republic in the Crimea in 1953 and imprisoned as a result, Shostakovich successfully campaigned for his release. Similar to Shostakovich, Weinberg's catalogue of works consists primarily of a large number of orchestral compositions, including 22 symphonies of chamber music and above all ballets and operas. Weinberg contributed 60 compositions to the genre of film music alone. Possibly with Stravinsky in mind, he turned stylistically towards an expressive neoclassicism and in so doing developed an individual personal style.

In 2015, an “International Weinberg Society” was founded with its headquarters in Augsburg. It was initiated primarily to promote the music of Weinberg, who died in 1996, and focus greater attention on his œuvre.  In addition, musicians are to be encouraged to perform Weinberg’s compositions thus exposing them to a wider audience. The Society has a most distinguished honorary president in Irina Shostakovich, Dmitri Shostakovich's widow. The stated aim of the International Weinberg Society is to organise concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and multidisciplinary events focusing on Weinberg's musical output, his close association with Shostakovich and his significance for 20th century music. The aim is to provide funding for recordings of his music and the publication and translation of articles and books about his life.
 
26.02.2021
25th anniversary of his death
Mieczysław Weinberg (08.12.1919 - 26.02.1996)
- Operas “The Idiot”, “Lady Magnesia”, “The Portrait”
- Symphonies no. 6, 10, 12, 14
- Concerto for violin and orchestra
- Fantasy for cello and orchestra
- String Quartets No. 13-15

 

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