The exciting life of a great violinist
Born in the cold Poland of March 31, 1835, by the pianist named Regina and the Jewish barber Hershel, his son became one of Poland’s most famous virtuosos years later. His name was Henry Vinjavski (Henryk Wieniawski). His extraordinary talent for the violin was soon discovered by his first teacher, Jan Hornziel. When the Czech violinist Panofka visited Warsaw and heard this eight-year-old son play, he said: “This boy will become a great name in the future”. In 1843, Henry competed at the Paris Conservatoire and was admitted to the class of J. Clavel to be transferred to the class of the violinist Lambert Massart a year later.
After a concert in Paris in 1848, along with his younger brother Józef Wieniawskin at the piano, Henryk left for St. Petersburg, where he gave five successful concerts and gained fame. He then went on to Helsinki, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Dresden and Breslav (now Breslau). In the autumn of that year, Henryk returned to Poland. At that time he began to compose small pieces.
In 1851-1853 he traveled to Russia and held about 200 concerts in collaboration with his younger brother, who had become a successful pianist. Henryk soon proved himself to be more than just a virtuoso. In 1853 he composed and published about 14 works including Polonaise No.1, Souvenir de Moscou op.6, some mazurkas, modern Lécole and Concerto n. 1 in F minor for violin. With this last work, he achieved his first big success in Germany at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1853. His fame will rapidly increase through tours in Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In 1858 he played with Anton Rubinstein in Paris and in autumn he traveled to England where he gave concerts in London, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Dublin and Belfast. In 1860 he met his future wife and married her immediately. On this occasion, he composed a work for violin entitled Légenda op.17, which he dedicated to her.
At that time, Anton Rubinstein, who was making a great effort to improve musical conditions in Russia, asked Wieniawski to join him. Wieniawski settled in St. Petersburg from 1860 to 1872 and exercised a decisive influence on the growth of the Russian violin school. The Russian years contributed significantly to its growth as a music performer and as a composer; During this period he wrote Capricious Etudes op.18, Polonaise op.21 and his best work, Concerto n. 2 for violin in D minor op. 22. He performed it for the first time in St. Petersburg on November 27, 1862 under the bucket of N. Rubinstein and two days later Cesar Cui, a fierce critic, wrote to his friend Balakirev: “I have not yet recovered from the impact of this first time of this concert “.
In 1872 Wieniawski resumed his travels, starting with a two-year tour in North America. He held 215 concerts the first year with Rubinstein and both artists had come close to exhaustion. Wieniawski stayed there for another year, gaining financially but risking his health. Then he accepts the invitation for the post of professor at the Brussels Conservatory. The concerts of this period made her compete with the prominent Spanish violinist and composer, virtuoso Pablo Sarasate. In 1878 he performed his Concerto n. 2 for violin and Souvenir de Moscou. at the Russian concerts organized in Paris. But his health was getting worse. In 1880 there was a heart attack during a concert. He leaves the stage while his colleague Joachim, who was on the show, takes the stage and continues the concert playing Bahu’s Chakon. Shortly after he died in Moscow, where he began his fame in concert.