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Composer

Mieczyslaw (Moisey) Weinberg (1919-1996); RUS/POL

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Mieczyslaw (Moisey) Weinberg

Read biography at allmusic.com.

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Moisey Weinberg (Mieczyslaw Vainberg) was born in Warsaw in 1919, the son of a Jewish theater composer, began composing at the age of 10 and shortly thereafter began studies at the Warsaw Conservatory, studying piano with Jozef Turczinski. With the outbreak of the World War II, Weinberg fled to the Soviet Union, and entered the Minsk Conservatory in 1939, where he studied composition with Vassily Zolotaryov - himself a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1941, Weinberg was again forced to flee, this time to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he married the daughter of famed Jewish actor Solomon Mikhoels - who was later assassinated under mysterious circumstances in 1948, during the so-called "Stalin Terror". It was at this same period that he met and befriended Dmitri Shostakovich, who was a consistent supporter of Weinberg's music, and who had a big influence on the latter's musical development.

In the years following the war, Weinberg, like many other Soviet composers, came under official attack for his modernist (formalism, cosmopolitanism) tendencies; along with Myaskovsky, Weinberg refused to repent, and as a result experienced official resistance for his music, forcing him to earn a living writing music for the theater and circus. He was even arrested in 1953 for specious reasons, and spent 3 months in a prison - likely saved from death through a favorable letter from Shostakovich. Despite his political troubles, however, Weinberg's music gradually gained attention from performers and conductors in Russia and Europe - such as Emil Gilels, Mariya Grinberg, Alexander Gauk, and Kurt Saunderling.

His final three decades were quite prolific and less tumultuous, during which time he wrote perhaps his masterpiece, the opera Passazhirka ('The Passenger', 1968), and many of his 25 symphonies. In all, Weinberg wrote music for all mediums - stage, orchestral, chamber, piano, vocal, as well as music for theater, film, TV, radio, cartoons, and the circus. Many of his works have a programmatic theme, some of which are dedicated to the themes of despair, destruction, and hope that reflect his own experiences as an outsider (Jewish, modernist) within his society.

We are very pleased to feature the music of this important, though often neglected, composer here at the Classical Archives.

Moisey Weinberg
email: vainberg@rdm.ru

Mieczyslaw (Moisey) Read biography at allmusic.com.... More
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Below are works by M.Weinberg that every music lover should explore:
 
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