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Leó Weiner

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Leó Weiner

Leó Weiner (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 to a Jewish family. His brother gave him his first music and piano lessons.[citation needed] As children, he and Fritz Reiner played piano four hands.[1]

Weiner 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); the Haynald Prize for his Agnus Dei; and the Schunda Prize for the Hungarian Fantasy for tárogató and cimbalom.[2][page needed]

Teaching career[edit]

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.[2][page needed] In 1949 he retired as emeritus professor, but continued to teach until the end of his life.[citation needed] Among his many notable students were conductors Antal Doráti,[3] Peter Erős, Béla Síki, and Georg Solti; violinist Tibor Varga; cellists Edmund Kurtz and János Starker; and pianist György Sebők.

He died in Budapest.


The early Romantics from Beethoven through Mendelssohn most strongly influenced Weiner's compositional 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.[2][page needed]

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.


  1. ^ Lyman, Darryl (1986). "Fritz Reiner, Baton Technician (1888–1963)". Great Jews in Music. New York: Jonathan David Publishers. p. 164. ISBN 0-8246-0315-X. At the age of six he began to study the piano, and within a few years he was playing four-hand piano music with Leó Weiner, a local boy (three years Reiner's senior) who later became an important composer-teacher.
  2. ^ a b c Weissmann, John S.; Berlász, Melinda (2001). "Weiner, Leó". In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John (eds.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 27: Wagon to Zywny (second ed.). London: Macmillan Publishers.
  3. ^ Lyman (1986). p. 62 in "Antal Doráti, Outstanding Trainer of Orchestras (1906–)": "At fourteen young Doráti entered the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, where his principal teachers were Leó Weiner (chamber music) and Zoltán Kodály (theory and composition)."


  • Sadie, Stanley, ed. (1980). "Weiner, Leó". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Sendrey, Alfred (1951). Bibliography of Jewish Music. Columbia University Press.

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