Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Heinrich Ernst

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst was a Czech (Moravian) violinist and composer probably not born on May 6, 1814 (Beethoven was 44 years old). Nobody knows his actual date of birth. He was widely considered the greatest virtuoso after Paganini, who lived during the same epoch. At the age of nine, he began to study the violin and turned out to be a prodigy. He studied with Joseph Bohm, among others. He concertized far and wide, frequently in the same cities and during the same weeks that Paganini scheduled his concerts. After 1844 he mostly lived in England where he joined the Beethoven Quartet Society, often playing with the likes of Henri Wieniawski and Joseph Joachim. He wrote many pieces for the violin, some of which are still in the repertoire. Hear some of his compositions for yourself on YouTube if you want. Ernst died in France sometime in October of 1865, at about age 51.

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