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Feliks Janiewicz

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Feliks Janiewicz, in English often Felix Yaniewicz (Vilnius 1762 - 21 May 1848 Edinburgh) was a Polish composer and violinist in exile and one of the founders of the Edinburgh Festival.

He was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, 1762. At an early age, he was violinist at the Polish Royal Chapel, after which he travelled to Vienna about 1785 to see and listen to Haydn and Mozart, and spending three years in Italy. From Austria, he accompanied a Polish princess to Italy, to refine his artistic abilities with the Italian masters of that day, where he lived for three years. In Paris, he appeared at the Concerts Spirituels in December 1787, and was described in the Mercure de France as a pupil of the Italian violinist Giovanni Giornovich and was immediately recognised by the Parisians as an artist of high rank. There he was employed by the Duc d’Orléons and for a short time he enjoyed the pension of a musician on the establishment of Mlle. d’Orléans; on the outbreak of the revolution he left France for London in 1790 and did not reappear until his 1792 London debut at Salomon’s Concerts among others.

During the subsequent years he expanded his violin performances and musical pursuits to Manchester, Liverpool, and Ireland. In Liverpool, he met Miss Breeze, whom he married in 1800.

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