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Fitelberg, Grzegorz

Fitelberg, Grzegorz

Fitelberg, Grzegorz, eminent Latvian-born Polish conductor and composer, father of Jerzy Fitelberg;b. Dvinsk, Oct. 18, 1879; d. Katowice, June 10, 1953. He was a student of Barcewicz (violin) and Noskowski (composition) at the Warsaw Cons. With his friend Szymanowski, he helped to found the Assn. of Young Polish Composers in Berlin in 1905. He began his career as a violinist in the Warsaw Phil., eventually serving as its concertmaster before being named its conductor in 1908. He then was a conductor at the Vienna Court Opera (1911–14) in Russia, and with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Paris (1921–23). After again conducting the Warsaw Phil. (1923–34), he was founder-conductor of the Polish Radio Sym. Orch. in Warsaw (1934–39). At the outbreak of World War II, he fled Europe and eventually reached Buenos Aires in 1940, later residing in the U.S. (1942–15). In 1945–6 he was a guest conductor with the London Phil. In 1947 he became conductor of the Polish Radio Sym. Orch. in Katowice. Fitelberg was a distinguished champion of Polish music. The Polish government awarded him a state prize in 1951. He composed 2 syms. (1903, 1906); Violin Concerto (1901); 2 Polish rhapsodies for Orch. (1913, 1914); In der Meerestiefe, symphonic poem (1913); Violin Sonata (Paderewski prize, 1896) and other chamber works.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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