George Enescu

George Enescu

George Enescu (pronunciation in Romanian: IPA|/'ʤěor.ʤe e'nes.ku/; known in France as "Georges Enesco") (August 19 1881, Liveni – May 4 1955, Paris) was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher, preeminent Romanian musician of the 20th century, and one of the greatest performers of his time.


He was born in the village of Liveni, Romania (Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County), and showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical composition at the age of five. Shortly thereafter, his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. At the age of seven, entered the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr., Robert Fuchs, and Sigismund Bachrich, and 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 Gédalge, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Many of Enescu's works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two "Romanian Rhapsodies" (1901–2), the opera "Œdipe" (1936), and the suites for orchestra. He also wrote five symphonies (two of them unfinished), a symphonic poem "Vox maris", and much chamber music (three sonatas for violin and piano, two for cello and piano, a piano trio, quartets with and without piano, a wind decet (French, "dixtuor"), an octet for strings, a piano quintet, a chamber symphony for twelve solo instruments). In 1923 he made his debut as a conductor in a concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York City. In 1935, he conducted the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris and Yehudi Menuhin in Mozart's Violin Concerto No.3 in G major. He also conducted the New York Philharmonic between 1937 and 1938. In 1939 he married Maria Rosetti (known as the Princess Cantacuzino through her first husband Mihail Cantacuzino), a good friend of the future Queen Marie of Romania. While staying in Bucharest, Enescu lived in the Cantacuzino Palace on Calea Victoriei (now the Muzeu Naţional George Enescu, dedicated to his work).

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, and Ida Haendel were among his pupils. He promoted contemporary Romanian music, playing works of Constantin Silvestri, Mihail Jora, Ionel Perlea and Marţian Negrea.

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

Today, Bucharest houses a museum in his memory; likewise, the Symphony Orchestra of Bucharest, as well as the George Enescu Festival, are named and held in his honor.


Selected Works

:"For a complete list, see List of compositions by George Enescu.


* "Œdipe", "tragédie lyrique" in four acts, libretto by Edmond Fleg, op. 23 (1910-1931)


* Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, op. 13 (1905)
* Symphony No. 2 in A major, op. 17 (1912-1914)
* Symphony No. 3 in C major, with chorus, op. 21 (1916-1918)

Other Orchestral Works

* "Poème Roumaine", symphonic suite for orchestra, op. 1 (1897)
* "Romanian Rhapsody No. 1" in A major, op. 11 (1901)
* "Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 " in D major, op. 11 (1902)
* Orchestral Suite No. 1 in E flat major, op. 9 (1903)
* Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C major, op. 20 (1915)
* Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major "Suite Villageoise", op. 27 (1937-1938)

Chamber Works

String Quartets

* String Quartet No. 2 in G major, op. 22 (1950-1952)


* Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, op. 2 (19??)
* Violin Sonata No. 2 in F minor op. 6 (1899)
* Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor "dans le caractère populaire roumain", op. 25 (1926)
* Cello Sonata No. 1 in F minor, op. 26 (1898)
* Cello Sonata No. 2 in C major, op. 26 (1935)

Other Chamber Works

* Octet for Strings, op. 7 (1900)
* "Dixtuor" in D major, for wind instruments, op. 14 (1906)
* "Impressions d'Enfance", for violin and piano, op. 28 (1938)
* Piano Quintet in A minor, op. 29 (1940)
* Piano Quartet No. 2 in D minor, op. 22 (1943-1944)
* Chamber Symphony, for 12 instruments, op. 33 (1954)
* "Concertstück", for viola and piano (1906)
* "Legende", for trumpet and piano (1906)
* Cantabile et Presto, for flute and piano (1904)

Piano Music

* Piano Suite No. 1 in G minor, "Dans le style ancien" op. 3 (1897)
* Piano Suite No. 2 in D major, op. 10 (1901/1903)
* Piano Suite No. 3, "Pieces impromptues" op. 18 (1913-1916)
* Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major, op 24 (1933-1935)


* "Sept Chansons de Clement Marot", for tenor and piano, op. 15 (1907-1908)


ee also

*George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
*List of 20th century classical composers


* Violin Virtuosos (from Paganini to 21st century) - Henry Roth 1997 ISBN 1-8879395-15-0
* Axente, Colette, and Ileana Ratiu. 1998. "George Enescu: Biografie documentara, tineretea si afirmarea: 1901-1920". Bucharest: Editura muzicala a U.C.M.R.
* Bentoiu, Pascal. 1984. "Capodopere enesciene". Bucharest: Editura muzicala a U.C.M.R.
* Cophignon, Alain. 2006. "Georges Enesco". Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard («Bibliothèque des grands compositeurs»). ISBN 978-2213623214
* Cosma, Viorel. 2000. "George Enescu: A Tragic Life in Pictures". Bucharest: The Romanian Cultural Foundation Publishing House.
* Malcolm, Noel. 1990. "George Enescu: His Life and Music", with a preface by Sir Yehudi Menuhin. London: Toccata Press. ISBN 0907689329 (cloth); ISBN 0907689337 (pbk)
* Malcolm, Noel. 2001. "Enescu, George." "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.
* Voicana, Mircea, Mircea Voicana, Clemansa Firca, Alfred Hoffman, Elena Zottoviceanu, in collaboration with Myriam Marbe, Stefan Niculescu, and Adrian Ratiu. 1971. "George Enescu: Monografie." 2 vols. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România.
*M. Costin, G. E. (1938); V. Cheorghiu, UN MUZICIAN GENIAL: G. E. (1944); F. Brulez, G. E. (1947); B. Gavoty, YEHUDI MENUHIN-G. E. (Geneva, 1955); A. Tudor, E. (1956); L. Voiculescu, G. E. I OPERA ŞA OEDIP (1956); A. Tudor, G. E.: VIAŢÂ IN IMAGINI (1959; Fr. tr., 1961);

*G. Bălan, G. E.: MESAJUL--ESTETICA (1962);
*idem, E. (1963; Ger. tr., 1964);
*F. Foni, N. Missir, M. Voicana, and E. Zottoviceanu, G. E. (1964); B. Kotlyarov, G. E. (Moscow, 1965);
*E. Ciomac, E. (1968); M. Voicana et al., eds., G. E.: MONOGRAFIE (2 vols., 1971);
*R. Draghici, G. E. (Bacau, 1973);
*M. Voicana, ed., ENESCIANA, I (1976; in Fr., Ger., and Eng.);
*A Cosmovici, G. E. În LUMEA MUZICII Ş
*I ÎN FAMILIE (1990); N. Malcolm, G. E.:
*M. Brediceanu et al., CELEBRATING G. E.:
*A SYMPOSIUM (Washington, D.C., 1997).
*"Georges Enesco." BAKER'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS Centennial Edition. Nicolas Slonimsky, Editor Emeritus. Schirmer, 2001.

External links

* [ Legendary Violinists]
* [ International Enescu Society]
* [ Georges Enesco's Profile and Recordings at The Remington Site]
* [ International Festival and Competition "George Enescu"]
* [ A page on the closely linked lives of Enescu and Chailley]
* [ Another site, with a helpful timeline]
* [ Pascal Bentoiu: George Enescu, the composer]
* [ Reissue of the complete Bach clavier concertos conducted by Enesco on 4 CDs]
* [ Review on Musicweb-International by Evan Dickerson of available recordings featuring Enescu's compositions (updated May 2005)]
* [ Review on Musicweb-International by Evan Dickerson of Enescu's recordings as a performer (violinist, conductor & pianist)(updated July 2005)]
* [ Romanian Rhapsody No.1]
* [ Georges Enescu Octet in C, Op.7 sound-bites and short bio]

NAME = Enescu, George
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Romanian composer, musician
DATE OF BIRTH = August 19 1881
PLACE OF BIRTH = Liveni, Romania
DATE OF DEATH = May 4 1955
PLACE OF DEATH = Paris, France

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