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Romanian orchestra founded in 1868 in Bucharest. Previously known as the Romanian Philharmonic Society Orchestra, since 1955 it has borne the name of Romania’s most prominent composer, George Enescu. It is the oldest orchestra in Eastern Europe and its headquarters is the Palace of the Romanian Athenaeum, a concert hall with a capacity of 800, and a symbol of Bucharest’s cultural richness.

The Romanian Philharmonic Society was founded on 7 May 1868, under the leadership of Eduard Wachmann, who conducted the first concert of the orchestra, on 15 December of the same year. The role of the orchestra was to educate the taste of the increasingly growing Bucharest audience for classical music; this is why Wachmann wanted to form a stable orchestra. On 5 March 1889, the orchestra gave the first concert in the freshly-built Atheneum (1888), which became the new home of the institution. Constructing such a concert hall for the Philharmonic Society was only possible with the support of cultural figures of the time, who understood the necessity of an adequate headquarters for an institution that promotes art, culture, and science. A public subscription was organized and together with other donations, sufficient funds were raised to build the Atheneum quite quickly, in two years....

Article

Friedrich W. Riedel

Benedictine abbey near Krems, Lower Austria. It was founded in 1083 by Bishop Altmann of Passau as a monastery for prebendaries. In 1094 it was taken over by Benedictines from St Blasien in the Black Forest, and rapidly became an important centre of religious and intellectual life. After a period of decline during the Reformation, Göttweig flourished in the Baroque era, particularly under the abbot Gottfried Bessel (1714–49), who, after a fire in 1718, instigated the rebuilding of the monastery in Baroque style. Despite the misfortunes which befell the monastery during the Enlightenment and the Napoleonic Wars, and the disruption caused by World War II, Göttweig remained an important religious and cultural centre. It has a long musical tradition; choral singing was fostered from the abbey’s foundation, and its choir school dates from the Middle Ages. By the 15th century an organist had been appointed, and polyphony was sung in the 16th century. An inventory of ...

Article

International organization. It was initiated in Belgium in 1940 by Marcel Cuvelier to propagate live music and related arts in schools, universities and among working youth, regardless of political or doctrinaire considerations. It has established an effective international network of artistic exchanges, bringing many young performers before the public through concert tours and competitions; it also encourages performance by young people by establishing music camps and forming international orchestras directed by outstanding conductors. In keeping with its broad humanitarian aims it was a founder-member of the International Music Council in 1949. The first Jeunesses Musicales concert was in the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, on 17 October 1940. The movement spread to France in the following year through the efforts of René Nicoly, and in 1945 the Fédération Internationale des Jeunesses Musicales (FIJM) was founded; its first international congress was in 1946. The founders included Gilles Lefèbvre, Alicia de Larrocha, Robert Mayer (who later founded Youth and Music in London on the model of the Jeunesses Musicales), Joan Miró, Pierre A. Pillet, Henryk Szeryng and Nicanor Zabaleta, in addition to the Jeunesses Musicales of France, Belgium and Canada. The movement grew rapidly; its first music camp was at Orford in Canada in ...

Article

Wouter Paap

revised by Johan Kolsteeg

(Association for the Promotion of the Art of Music). Dutch musical organization. The oldest association of its kind in the country, it was established in 1829 and laid the foundations of music education by setting up music schools and after 1881 by instituting examinations for professional musicians. After World War II, when music schools and conservatories in the Netherlands became government institutions, the association was no longer deeply concerned with music education, although it continued to provide grants for gifted music students. Much work is done in forming choirs and in renewing the choral repertory; a federation of youth choirs is attached to the association, and the performance of Dutch choral works is encouraged. In 1982 the society helped to organize the Stichting Nederlandse Korenorganisaties. The association has built up an important library, which since 1955 has been an independent organization; it consists of a loan department for choral and orchestral material and a research department containing valuable historical material (e.g. manuscripts and early music prints). The 1990s saw closer links with the ...

Article

Melk  

Robert N. Freeman

Town in Lower Austria. The strategic location of the fortress Medelica (Melk) on a slope overlooking the Danube led the Babenbergs, Austria's medieval rulers, to establish their court there in 976. Monks from the Benedictine abbey of Lambach were invited to join the court in 1089; shortly after 1110, when the Babenbergs moved to Klosterneuburg, the Benedictines became the owners of Melk and a large area of land. This link with the Austrian monarchal line made the wealthy abbey one of the Empire's most powerful institutions.

Soon after their arrival the Benedictines founded a boys' choir; pueri are mentioned as early as 1140 and a cloister school, training boys for singing in processions and daily church services, is described in a manuscript dating from 1160. The scriptorium was most productive in the first half of the 13th century. A great fire (1297) destroyed most of the manuscripts recording this formative musical period. 133 codices survived intact, about half of which originated at Melk, including the ...

Article

Romanian opera company, lyric theatre, and ballet. The building that houses the opera was built between 1904 and 1906 by the globally renowned Viennese company Fellner & Helmer, which specialized in designing and building opera theatres in a slightly Baroque Secession style. Architecturally, the building presents similarities, both interior and exterior, with the other 48 theatres built by the same company, e.g. the foyer is similar to that of the Karlsbad Theatre (Karlovy Vary), and the towers are similar to those of the National Theatre in Sofia. The building is considered part of the Romanian national cultural heritage and is classified as an historical monument, specially protected by UNESCO.

The Opera was first founded on 18 September 1919 at the same time as the National Theatre and the Music Conservatory through the decision of the Directorial Council, an executive branch of the Great National Romanian Council, founded for the administration of Transylvania....