Leo Weiner, classical music composer
(16 April 1885 – 13 September 1960), was one of the leading Hungarian music educators of the first half of the twentieth century and a composer.
Weiner was born in Budapest. He had his first music and piano lessons from his brother, and later studied at the Academy of Music in Budapest, studying with János (Hans) Koessler. While there, he won numerous prizes, including: the Franz Liszt Stipend, the Volkmann Prize, and the Erkel Prize, all for one composition: his Serenade, Op. 3.
In 1908, he became a theory teacher at the Budapest Academy of Music. He was appointed Professor of Composition in 1912 and Professor of Chamber Music in 1920. In 1949 he became Emeritus Professor, but he continued to teach until the end of his life. He died in Budapest.
As a composer, the Romantics from Beethoven through Mendelssohn most strongly affected Weiner's musical approach. His sense of orchestral color seems to relate to those French composers who were not notably affected by Wagner, especially to that of Bizet. This solid and conservative Romantic approach served the basis for his style which later was influenced by elements of Hungarian folk music. However, he did not conduct research in the area of folk music, as his contemporaries Bartók and Kodály did, but simply shared an interest in the subject and employed some elements of folk music without affecting his established harmonic language.
Among Weiner's notable compositions are a string trio, three string quartets, two violin sonatas, five divertimenti for orchestra, a symphonic poem, and numerous chamber and piano pieces. Most pianists will instantly recognize his lively "Fox Dance".
Peregi Verbunk, Op. 40
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