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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » D » Dinicu, Grigoras

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Grigoras Dinicu (4/03/1889 - 3/28/1949)

Growing up on the outskirts of Bucharest, Grigoraş Dinicu’s childhood was permeated by the sounds of Romany folk music. In his birth year (also the year of the opening of the Eiffel Tower) his father and grandfather took the gypsy tune Ciocârlia (The Skylark) to the Paris Universal Exhibition where it became instrumental in popularising Romany ethnicity. Deeply committed to his roots and his home city of Bucharest, Dinicu made a living for many years in hotels and restaurants, drawing great soloists from around the world to hear traditional Romany music. His evangelism caught the attention of noted playwright Ion Luca Caragiale, who became his patron.

During both world wars, Dinicu discontinued his restaurant appearances in favour of charity concerts, also forming an elite band of musicians to take music to the front line in World War II. Between the wars he travelled to London and was warmly received at the Green Park Hotel, appearing on the recommendation of Mischa Elman. He subsequently met George Enescu and Fritz Kreisler in Monte Carlo, both of whom were enthusiastic exponents of the gypsy idiom. During this period Dinicu was also involved in the ethno-political movement of the Roma (Gypsies), headed the Bucharest-based Junimea Muzicală (Musical Youth) and was made honorary president of the General Union of the Romanian Roma. His finest hour in concert performance came in 1935 with Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor, which left a Romanian audience enraptured by an interpretation imbued with native tradition.



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