Thursday 10 January 2019

Abeliovich on Warsaw and Weinberg

Weinberg 100: 3

Lev Abeliovich (1912-1985) was born in Vilnius, and studied at the Warsaw Conservatoire from 1935, specialising in composition under Kazimierz Sikorski. As a result, he was one of Weinberg's classmates, and the two were close friends. Like Weinberg, Abeliovich enrolled at the Minsk Conservatoire during the war, though he remained there for the rest of his life (while Weinberg went on to Tashkent and then Moscow; the rest is history). Abeliovich was one of very few regular contacts with Weinberg's Polish childhood and education later in his later life, as his family have confirmed.
            Abeliovich recalled the following about their shared experiences in Warsaw:

Warsaw in the 1930s was a major music centre in Poland. The famous performers worked and performed there: the pianists (the Polish J. Hofmann, the German A. Schnabel), the famous Polish conductor G. Fitelberg, through whose interpretation I got acquainted with the works of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Szymanowski, Prokofiev. The centre of musical culture was the Warsaw Conservatoire. There were outstanding performers and composers teaching there - A. Żuravlev, K. Sikorski, Z. Dżevetski, K. Szymanowski. Among the like-minded people who in many respects shared my destiny, were fellow students in the Warsaw and later Belorussian Conservatoires H. Vagner and E. Tyrmand. But the best, and perhaps the only close friend was Mieczysław Weinberg.

From: Svetlana Kovshik and Inessa Dvuzhil’naya, ‘Interv’yu, kotorogo ne bïlo’ [‘The interview that didn’t take place’], Mishpokha, 29; available online at: 

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