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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Celibidache, Sergiu

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Sergiu Celibidache (1912 - 1996)

Sergiu Celibidache grew up in the capital of Moldavia, Iassy, where his father held an official position. He was already improvising at the piano by the age of four and after a traditional schooling he studied music, philosophy and mathematics in Bucharest and Paris. His father wished him to pursue a political career in Romania, but instead Celibidache left for Berlin in 1936, motivated to study composition at the Berlin Academy of Music with Heinz Thiessen by having heard a quartet of his on Romanian radio. Two years later he enrolled to study conducting with Kurt Thomas and Walter Gmeindl, while simultaneously attending the Friedrich Wilhelm University to study musicology with Arnold Schering and Georg Schünemann, and philosophy with Nicolai Hartmann and Eduard Spranger. During this period he became increasingly attracted to Buddism and Zen Buddism: through his teacher Martin Steinke he was exposed to Buddhist ideas as to the limits of thought, including what was translatable into music and what was not. Celibidache completed his education in 1944 with a doctorate on Josquin Desprez. During this period he was also active as a conductor of student ensembles, attended Furtwängler’s rehearsals with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and composed: his works included concertos, masses and four symphonies, all of which remained unheard.




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