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date: 20 August 2019

Athanasiu-Gardeev, Esmeralda locked

  • Viorel Cosma


(b Galaţi, 1834; d Bucharest, 1917). Romanian composer and pianist. She studied in Bucharest, then in Paris with Julius Schulhoff (piano and composition) and in St Petersburg with Anton Rubinstein (composition). She was married briefly to Vasile Hermeziu, then to the Russian General Gardeev, who introduced her to European aristocratic circles (many of her works are dedicated to King Charles I of Romania and members of the aristocracy) and, in particular, to the salons of George Sand, Nicolò Rubini, Sophie Menter, Camillo Sivori, Vasile Alecsandri, Grigore Ventura, Dumitru Kiriac-Georgescu, Anton Rubinstein and others. At the end of the Romanian War of Independence (1877–8), she settled in Bucharest, teaching the piano, singing and the guitar. Her music was inspired by Romanian folklore, which in turn influenced Rubinstein (The Demon and Sulamith); her Rumänisches Charakterstück op.44 is dedicated to him.

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