Leo Weiner (Hungarian: 'Weiner Leó'; Budapest, 16 April 1885 – Budapest, 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 was appointed music theory teacher at the Budapest Academy of Music, professor of composition in 1912 and professor of chamber music in 1920. In 1949 he retired as emeritus professor, but continued to teach until the end of his life. He died in Budapest. Among his many notable students were conductors Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti, Béla Síki, cellist Janos Starker, and pianist, Gyorgy Sebok.
As a composer, the early Romantics from Beethoven through Mendelssohn most strongly influenced Weiner's style. His orchestration seems much indebted to later Romantic French composers not notably affected by Wagner, Bizet in particular. This conservative Romantic approach formed the basis of his style, to which elements of Hungarian folk music were added sometime later although he was not an active field researcher of folk music as were his contemporaries Bartók and Kodály, but simply shared an interest in the subject and added elements of folk music into his established harmonic language without significantly changing it.
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. Many pianists are familiar with his lively "Fox Dance".
- Sadie, Stanley. The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians, Macmillan, 1980.
- Lyman, Darryl. Great Jews in Music, J. D. Publishers, 1986.
- Sendrey, Alfred. Bibliography of Jewish music, Columbia University Press, 1951.
- Biography at Allmusic
- Leo Weiner Chamber Music sound-bites: String Trio,Op.6, String Quartet No.1, Op.4 & Divertimento No.2 for String Quartet, Op.24a