WorldView Episode 32: Henryk Wieniawski

       In addition to his prolific career as a composer, Henryk Wieniawski is considered to be one of the greatest violinists of all time. With over 50 works to his name, Wieniawski remains one of Poland’s most well-known classical artists, along with Krzysztof Penderecki (WorldView Ep. 4) and Ignacy Jan Paderewski (Ep. 13). 

       Wieniawski was born in the city of Lublin in modern-day eastern Poland in 1835. His father, a Jewish barber, originated from the Wieniawa region of the city. The young Henryk’s talent for violin was soon recognized, and he began studying at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of eight. He toured throughout eastern Europe with his brother Józef—an accomplished pianist in his own right—and published his first opus work, “Grand Caprice Fantastique” in 1847. 

       In 1860, the composer moved to St. Petersburg with his friend Anton Rubenstein. He lived in the city until 1872, where he taught students and performed with the Russian Musical Society. As a violinist, Wieniawski extensively toured the United States, where his reputation grew. During his career as a composer, he strived to create a national style of Polish music, an attempt which is most evident in his mazurkas and dances; the rest of his opus works are mostly Romantic in nature. After working actively in music for 35 years, Wieniawski died of a heart attack in 1880. 

       Episode thirty-two of WorldView features one of Wieniawski’s two famous, technically demanding violin concertos: “Violin Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 14”. The work was first performed in 1853, and is dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. In this hour, the concerto is performed by another violin master: Itzhak Perlman. In the EMI Classics recording, he is accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Seiji Ozawa. 


WorldView Episode Thirty-Two Playlist:

Henryk WIENIAWSKI, “Violin Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor”, {Itzhak Perlman (vn), Seiji Ozawa, London Philharmonic Orchestra} – EMI Classics

Kenji BUNCH, “Concerto for Piano Trio and Percussion”, {Ahn Trio, Matthew Gold (perc), Brian Resnich (perc)} – EMI Classics

Patricia MOREHEAD, “Tourbillon Galaxy”, {Jory Vinikour (harpsichord)} – Sono Luminus

Roy HARRIS, “Symphony No. 3”, {New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Berstein} – Deutsche Grammophon


WorldView is a classical music radio show featuring composers from everywhere in the world – except Western Europe. Tune in to hear works by lesser-known artists such as Irving Fine and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and widen your knowledge of classical music. Hinke Younger hosts each week’s episode of WorldView on Mondays at 9AM and 6PM (with a rebroadcast Saturdays at 2PM) on

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