Janiewicz, Felix


Spelled Yaniewicz in England. Noted Polish violinist and excellent conductor. Born at Wilna. About 1784 he went to Vienna, where he heard Haydn and Mozart's works conducted by those masters. He was about to study composition from Haydn, when a Polish Princess took him to Italy. There he heard the famous violinists, Nardini and Pugnani, and the best singers of the time. In three years he left Italy for Paris, where he took part in the Concerts Spirituels and Olympiens. He was given a pension by the Duke of Orleans and made musician in his family, but was forced to leave the Duke on the reduction of the latter's expenses. After a short stay in Poland he went to London in 1792. His first appearance was at Salomon's concerts, and later he played under Rauzzini at Bath. After several visits to Ireland he married and settled in Liverpool in 1803 as a music-seller and publisher. For many years he was conductor of subscription concerts in that city and Manchester; was one of the thirty charter members of the London Philharmonic Society, and led its orchestra during the first season. In Scotland he extended his reputation, and led some of the festivals at Edinburgh, appearing for the last time in 1829. He died in that city, nineteen years later. Mention may be made of his concertos, and three trios for two violins and a bass, which are considered his best works.