Jerzy Fitelberg

Jerzy Fitelberg
20.05.1903 - 25.04.1951
Country:United States Of America
Period:XX age


 Jerzy Fitelberg (May 20, 1903 – April 25, 1951) was a Polish-American composer.
Son of Grzegorz Fitelberg, Jerzy was born in Warsaw. He first studied music with his father. At a young age, his father had him play percussion in the orchestra of the National Theatre, Warsaw to gain experience.[2] He subsequently studied in Moscow.

From 1922–1926 he studied composition with Walter Gmeindl and Franz Schreker at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 1923 the University helped him get a deferment for the Polish military draft .[3]

In 1927 he re-orchestrated Arthur Sullivan's music for "The Mikado" for Erik Charell's re-staging as an operetta-revue in Berlin's Grosses Schauspielhaus. (Review in the Times (London) September 2, 1927)

In 1928, his String Quartet no. 2 won first prize in a competition organized by the Association of Young Polish Musicians in Paris.[1]

His first violin concerto made a major impression on the 1929 International Society for Contemporary Music concert. Music critic Henry Prunieres remarked "The violin concerto...[was] delicate, sensitive with a fine feeling for orchestral resource."[4] His works were heard at subsequent ISCM concerts of 1931, 1937, 1946 and 1951.[5]

Escaping the Nazis, he first traveled to Paris in 1933. There his music was published by Editions Max Eschig.[5] His String Quartet no. 4 won the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Award administered by the Library of Congress. The work had its premiere on April 9, 1937 at the Library of Congress.[1]

He then emigrated to New York City, arriving on May 15, 1940.[6] Among the first works he composed in his new city were those reminiscent of Poland.[5] In 1945, his fifth string quartet was awarded with a prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[7]

His application for US Citizenship was filed on May 26, 1947. At the time he was living at 244 West 72nd Street in New York City.[8]

He died in New York in 1951.

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