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Weinberg, Mieczyslaw

Mieczysław Weinberg first studied piano with Józef Turczynski in his native city of Warsaw before moving to the Soviet Union in 1939. He continued his studies at the Minsk Conservatory with Vassily Solotaryov until 1941. Since 1943 he was active as a freelance pianist and composer. When he was erroneously accused in 1953 of propagating the founding of a Jewish republic in the Crimea and was arrested, Shostakovich successfully supported his release.

Similarly to Shostakovich, Weinberg’s catalogue of works consists of a large number of orchestral compositions, including 22 symphonies, chamber and especially ballets and operas. He contributed 60 compositions in the genre of film music alone. Possibly with a view towards Stravinsky, he turned stylistically towards an expressive form of neoclassicism, developing an individually personal style before this background. Weinberg is considered the most independent and important of all Shostakovich’s pupils, whose production has only attained growing appreciation during the past few years.