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Constantin Silvestri (1913 - 1969)

Constantin Silvestri made his first public appearance as a musician when he was ten years old, giving a piano recital. He went on to study piano and composition at the Bucharest Conservatory, where he was a pupil of George Enescu, Mihail Jora and Florica Musicescu. He launched his professional career as a pianist and was noted for his powerful improvisations in the styles of distinguished composers, but as he stated during this period, ‘My ultimate aim is the baton.’ His debut as a conductor, despite his having had no formal training, came with the Bucharest Radio Symphony Orchestra when he was seventeen, in a programme that included his own Prelude and Fugue (Toccata), as well as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The following year he conducted his first Beethoven symphony, No. 9 ‘Choral’. Between 1935 and 1945 Silvestri was a conductor at the Romanian State Opera in Bucharest, after which he served as joint chief conductor of the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1945, with George Georgescu.




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