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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » L » Lipinski, Karol

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Karol Lipinski (10/30/1790 - 12/16/1861)

Karol Józef Lipiński was born on 30 October 1790, on the estate of the aristocratic Potocki family near Lublin, Poland. His father was director of music for the Potockis, and in this music-friendly aristocratic setting young Karol soon surpassed his father’s musical ability. By the age of eight Lipiński was playing concertos of Pleyel and Giornovichi. His father suggested a tour in the manner of Mozart, but Lipiński flatly refused, showing a humility that remained a part of his character. Following the partition of Poland in 1795 by Prussia, Austria, and Russia, thus ending Poland’s independent existence until the twentieth century, many Polish court orchestras were disbanded, and the Potocki orchestra was no exception. Lipiński’s father moved the family to Lwów (the German Lemberg, capital of the Austrian partition called Galicia), where he served as Kapellmeister of Count Starzeński’s musical establishment. He shared some of his father’s duties as Kapellmeister, composing several dances and three symphonies before 1810. After a brief flirtation with the cello, Lipiński returned to the violin with renewed passion and obsessive practice, never sure that his technique was fine enough, though he would soon rival Paganini for the title of greatest violinist in Europe. In 1809 he was appointed concertmaster of the Lwów Theatre. Promoted to Kapellmeister in 1812, he was able to champion serious dramatic efforts while using his own talents in a lyric or comic way. Lipiński’s career




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