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Two photographs of the Enescu statue in the Romanian Cultural Garden, both taken in the spring of 2005.George Enescu: (1881-1955) Romanian Composer

George Enescu was born August 19, 1881 in Liveni Romania.

George entered the Vienna Conservatorie at age seven as an accomplished violinist he was determined to be a composer.  He graduated with distinction from the Conservatoire before his 11th birthday. (Biography at Enescu homepage)

He had played on the first desk of an orchestra under Brahms in the latter's C minor Symphony and accompanying Brahms in his First Piano Concerto. Brahms was a lifelong hero, as was Wagner. (Biography at Enescu homepage

By the age of 16 he had written four Study Symphonies and had also given the premiere of his Violin Concerto in Paris in 1886. Amongst a distinguished orchestral output, Enescu left eleven symphonic works: four Study Symphonies written between 1895-1898 and five mature symphonies (the Fourth and Fifth are unfinished) plus a Concert Symphony for cello and orchestra and a Chamber Symphony. (Biography at Enescu homepage)

His most famous composition was the "Romanian Rhapsody," considered to be a national treasure.  In addition to "Romanian Rhapsody," Enescu's compositions include "Romanian Poem," the trumpet concerto "Legend," and the opera "Oedipus," based on Sophocles with a libretto by Edward Fleg. He began the ambitious latter work in 1921 and it was first performed by the Paris Opera in 1936. His final composition was "Souvenirs" in 1955.  (Biography at music

He often lived in Paris, travelling widely, but returned to Romania for several lengthy periods, remaining there throughout World War II. (Biography at Enescu homepage)

George Enescu died on May 4, 1955. (Biography at Enescu homepage)


Photographs of the Garden

Further Reading:

For more on Romanians in Cleveland

Biography at Enescu homepage

Biography at music

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.