Wieniawski, Henri



Famous violinist; born in Lublin, Poland, July 10, 1835. Recognizing her son's talent, his mother took him to Paris when he was eight years old and entered him in the Conservatory as a pupil of Clavel; the next year he was in Massart's advanced class, and when eleven years old won first prize for violin-playing. He returned to Russia and won recognition as a violin virtuoso by his appearances in concert at St. Petersburg and Moscow. In Paris in 1849 he pursued his studies under Colet at the Conservatory. In 1860 he was appointed Imperial chamber violinist at St. Petersburg after a series of concert tours with his brother Joseph through all the principal cities of Europe. In 1872 with Anton Rubinstein he came to the United States and was so enthusiastically welcomed that he continued his concert tour alone after Rubinstein's return to his own country. He was called to Brussels in 1875 to fill Vieuxtemps' place at the Conservatory, and held this position for two years, until Vieuxtemps was able to resume teaching. He then continued his tours until health failed him. He died in Moscow, March 31, 1880.


Wieniawski wrote much concert music for the violin, notably a famous polonaise. Most of his work remains in manuscript. Those published are two concertos, several fantasias, salon pieces and violin studies.