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Leibowitz, René

Leibowitz, René

Leibowitz, René, noted Polish-born French conductor, composer, writer on music, music theorist, and pedagogue; b. Warsaw, Feb. 17, 1913; d. Paris, Aug. 28, 1972. His family settled in Paris in 1926; from 1930 to 1933 he studied in Berlin with Schoenberg and in Vienna with Webern; also studied orchestration with Ravel in Paris (1933). He was active as a conductor from 1937. As a composer, he adopted the 12-tone method of composition, becoming its foremost exponent in France; he had numerous private students, among them Boulez. He publ. the influential books Schoenberg et son école (Paris, 1946; Eng. ed., N.Y., 1949) and Introduction à la musique de douze sons (Paris, 1949). He also wrote L’Artiste et sa conscience (Paris, 1950); L’Évolution de la musique, de Bach à Schönberg (Paris, 1952); Histoire de l’Opéra (Paris, 1957); with J. Maguire, Thinking for Orchestra (N.Y., 1958); with K. Wolff, Erich Itor Kahn, Un Grand Représentant de la musique contemporaine (Paris, 1958; Eng. ed., N.Y., 1958); Schönberg (Paris, 1969); Le Compositeur et son double (Paris, 1971); Les Fantômes de l’opéra (Paris, 1973).

Works

dramatic: Opera: La Nuit close (1949); La Rumeur de l’espace (1950); Ricardo Gonfolano (1953); Les Espagnols à Venise, opera buffa (1963; Grenoble, Jan. 27, 1970); Labyrinthe, after Baudelaire (1969); Todos caeràn (1970-72). orch.: Sym. (1941); 2 chamber concertos (1942, 1944); Chamber Sym. (1948); Piano Concerto (1954); Viola Concerto (1954); Fantaisie symphonique (1956); Violin Concerto (1959); 3 Bagatelles for Strings (1959); Trombone Concertino (1960); Cello Concerto (1962); Rapsodie symphonique (1964-65). chamber: 8 string quartets (1940, 1950, 1952, 1958, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968); Marijuana for Violin, Trombone, Vibraphone, and Piano (1960); Sinfonietta da camera (1961); Capriccio for Flute and Strings (1967); Suite for 9 Instruments (1967); Saxophone Quartet (1969); Petite suite for Clarinet Sextet (1970). vocal:Tourist Death for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1943); L’Explication des métaphores for Speaker, 2 Pianos, Harp, and Percussion (1947); Chanson Dada for Children’s Chorus and Instruments (1968); Laboratoire central for Speaker and Chorus (1970); numerous songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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