Grzegorz Fitelberg

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Grzegorz Fitelberg
Grzegorz Fitelberg in 1930s
Born(1879-10-18)18 October 1879
Died10 June 1953(1953-06-10) (aged 73)
Katowice, Poland

Grzegorz Fitelberg (18 October 1879 – 10 June 1953) was a Polish conductor, violinist and composer. He was a member of the Young Poland group, together with artists such as Karol Szymanowski, Ludomir Różycki and Mieczysław Karłowicz.

Life and career[edit]

Fitelberg was born into a Jewish family (father Hozjasz Fitelberg, mother Matylda Pintzof, sister Leja Wacholder, 1881–1941, were all murdered in the Holocaust),[1][2][3] in Daugavpils, Russian Empire (now Latvia). Between 1906 and 1907, he performed several times at the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1908 he conducted in the Warsaw Opera, and between 1912 and 1913 in the Vienna State Opera. During the first war he collaborated with Ballets Russes; he conducted the first performance of Igor Stravinsky's Mavra at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. From 1921 to 1934 he was the chief conductor of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, where he extensively promoted new music. In 1935 he organized the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.[4]

Between 1940 and 1941, he conducted at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Throughout his career, he performed in various locations worldwide including Paris, Monte Carlo, Brussels, Vienna, Dresden, Leipzig, Moscow, Bristol, London, The Hague, Buenos Aires, New York, Montreal and Toronto. He took his remaining World War II exile years in the United States.[4]

He returned to Europe in 1946. In 1947, he succeeded Witold Rowicki in leading the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, based in Katowice in the Silesian region. He also performed with his orchestra in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków and in Czechoslovakia (1948), Romania and Hungary (1950). He remained director of the orchestra until his death. in the 1950–1951 academic year he was a professor at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice.

He died in Katowice, Poland in June 1953. His body buried in the Avenue of the Meritorious at the Military Cemetery Powązki.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

His son was the Polish-American composer Jerzy Fitelberg, who predeceased him. His second wife, Halina Schmolz, was a ballet dancer who died in 1939, from wounds suffered during the bombing of the Poniatowski Bridge. Their home, Willa Fitelberga, has been restored.[6]


One of Fitelberg's students, Karol Stryja, founded the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in 1979. The competition is one of the most important music competitions in Poland, and it takes place in the Silesian Philharmonic.

Music (selection)[edit]

Orchestral Works[edit]

  • Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 13 (1902-1903)
  • Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 16 (1904)
  • Song of the Falcon (Pieśń o sokole), Symphonic Poem, Op. 18, after Maxim Gorky (1905)
  • Overture No. 1, Op. 14 (1905)
  • Overture No. 2, Op. 17 (1906)
  • Symphony No. 2 in A major, Op. 20 (1907)
  • Protesilaus and Laodamia, Symphonic Poem, Op. 24 (1908)
  • Polish Rhapsody, Op. 25 (1913),
  • Rhapsody No. 2 (1914)
  • From the Depths of the Sea (W głębi morza), Symphonic Poem, Op. 26 (1914).

Chamber music[edit]

  • Sonata for violin and piano in A minor, Op. 2 (1894, the work received the I.J.Paderewski Prize in 1898)
  • Romances sans paroles, 2 pieces Op. 11 for violin and piano: in D major (1892) and A major (1900)
  • Piano trio in F minor, Op. 10 (1901)
  • Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano in F major, Op. 12 (1901)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "".
  2. ^ TROCHIMCZYK, MAJA (2005). "Reviewed work: Grzegorz Fitelberg—Korespondencja. Korespondencja Grzegorza Fitelberga z lat 1941-1953 [Grzegorz Fitelberg—Correspondence. Correspondence of Grzegorz Fitelberg from the Years 1941-1953)], Leon Markiewicz, Adam Labus, Sylwia Polek". The Polish Review. 50 (2): 232–237. JSTOR 25779543 – via JSTOR.
  3. ^ "Warszawa | Wirtualny Sztetl".
  4. ^ a b c "Grzegorz Fitelberg". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  5. ^ Juliusz Jerzy Malczewski: Cmentarz komunalny (dawny wojskowy) na Powązkach. Warszawa: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1975, p. 11.
  6. ^ Willa Fitelberga, Polska Niezwykla.
  7. ^ "M.P. 1950 nr 75 poz. 864". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. ^ "M.P. 1947 nr 143 poz. 877". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Grzegorz Fitelberg". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Gazeta Lwowska". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Gazeta Lwowska". Retrieved 27 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by Music directors, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by Music Director, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by