Jerzy Fitelberg

Jerzy Fitelberg (May 20, 1903 – April 25, 1951) was a Polish-American composer.[1]


Son of Grzegorz Fitelberg, Jerzy was born in Warsaw. He first studied music with his father. At a young age, his father had him play percussion in the orchestra of the National Theatre, Warsaw to gain experience.[2] He subsequently studied in Moscow.

From 1922–1926 he studied composition with Walter Gmeindl and Franz Schreker at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 1923 the University helped him get a deferment for the Polish military draft .[3]

In 1927 he re-orchestrated Arthur Sullivan's music for "The Mikado" for Erik Charell's re-staging as an operetta-revue in Berlin's Grosses Schauspielhaus. (Review in the Times (London) September 2, 1927)

In 1928, his String Quartet no. 2 won first prize in a competition organized by the Association of Young Polish Musicians in Paris.[1]

His first violin concerto made a major impression on the 1929 International Society for Contemporary Music concert. Music critic Henry Prunieres remarked "The violin concerto...[was] delicate, sensitive with a fine feeling for orchestral resource."[4] His works were heard at subsequent ISCM concerts of 1931, 1937, 1946 and 1951.[5]

Escaping the Nazis, he first traveled to Paris in 1933. There his music was published by Editions Max Eschig.[5] His String Quartet no. 4 won the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Award administered by the Library of Congress. The work had its premiere on April 9, 1937 at the Library of Congress.[1]

He then emigrated to New York City, arriving on May 15, 1940.[6] Among the first works he composed in his new city were those reminiscent of Poland.[5] In 1945, his fifth string quartet was awarded with a prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[7]

His application for US Citizenship was filed on May 26, 1947. At the time he was living at 244 West 72nd Street in New York City.[8]

He died in New York.


Fitelberg said that his compositional style was similar to "the energy and high voltage music of Stravinsky, a focus on linear and harmonic complexity as in Hindemith, and colors of contemporary French music (such as Milhaud), as well as styles of satire.[9]


Jerzy Fitelberg's manuscripts are housed in the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

List of works


Orchestral works

Chamber orchestra

Choral Works

Chamber Music

Film Music

As author


External links


  1. 1 2 3 "Jerzy Fitelberg, 48, A Polish Composer," New York Times (April 27, 1951), p. 23.
  2. Cadenbach, p. 25.
  3. Cadenbach, p. 25-26.
  4. Henry Prunieres, "The Festival of Contemporary Music," New York Times (Jul. 31, 1932), p. X4.
  5. 1 2 3 Cadenbach, p. 27.
  6. "Jerzy Fitelberg" in New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 on
  7. Cadenbach, p. 28.
  8. "Record for Jerzy Fitelberg," Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 on
  9. Cadenbach, p. 26.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.