Perlea, Jonel

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Perlea, Jonel

Perlea, Jonel , Romanian-born American conductor, teacher, and composer; b. Ograda, Dec. 13,1900; d. N.Y., July 29, 1970. He studied piano and composition in Munich (1918–20) and conducting in Leipzig (1920–23). He made his conducting debut in Bucharest in 1919, then held posts as a conductor in Leipzig (1922–23) and Rostock (1923–25). He then conducted the Bucharest Opera (1929–32; 1934–36) and the Bucharest Radio Orch. (1936–44), of which he was a founder. He led conducting classes at the Bucharest Cons. (1941–44); during the last year of World War II, he was interned in a German concentration camp. After the war, he conducted opera in Rome (1945–47); in 1950, conducted at La Scala in Milan. He made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. on Dec. 1, 1949, conducting Tristan und Isolde; appeared at the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago; from 1955 to 1970, was conductor of the Conn. Sym. Orch. He taught conducting at the Manhattan School of Music from 1952 until shortly before his death. Perlea became a naturalized American citizen in 1960. He suffered a heart attack in 1957 and a stroke in 1958, as a result of which he lost the use of his right arm, but he continued to conduct with his left hand.


orch.:2 Sketches (1919); Variations on an Original Theme (Bucharest, Dec. 5, 1935); Don Quichotte, symphonic scherzo (1946); Sym. (1951); Adagio (1952); Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Orch. (1968); 3 Studies (1969). chamber: Violin Sonata (1921); Cello Sonata (1921); String Quartet (1922); piano pieces, including a Sonata (1930). vocal: Songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire