Wellesz, Egon (Joseph)
- Caroline Cepin Benser
(b Vienna, Oct 21, 1885; d Oxford, Nov 9, 1974). Austrian composer, musicologist and teacher. His importance as a composer rests chiefly on his stage works and symphonies. While his creative career was divided between Vienna and Oxford, his musical style was unpredictable, showing his affection for beautiful melody often with wide leaps and angular in profile. As a musicologist, he did pioneer work on Byzantine chant.
Wellesz was born into comfortable circumstances in the Schottengasse. His father Samú Wellesz was in the textile business; his mother Ilona Lovenyi met and married her husband in Vienna after they had each come from the Hungarian part of the empire. Wellesz inherited his musical inclinations from his mother, who had once studied the piano with Carl Frühling, to whom she sent her son. Even so, his parents had expected him to study law and follow in his father's business; however, on his 13th birthday he heard Mahler conduct ...