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Franz Reizenstein

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Biography

Franz Reizenstein (June 7, 1911-October 15, 1968) was a German-born British composer and concert-pianist. His father was Dr. Albert Reizenstein (January 17, 1871 - November 19, 1925) and his mother was Lina Kohn (June 17, 1880 - ), both of Nuremberg, Germany. The family was Jewish and counted many professionals and musically inclined people among its members.

Reizenstein grew up in Nuremberg and was considered a child prodigy. He composed his first pieces when he was 5, and by the age of 17 he had written a string quartet. His well-to-do and artistic family encouraged him to play chamber music at home. Eventually he was sent to study under Paul Hindemith at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik. He emigrated to England in 1934 to escape the Nazis. Once in England, he furthered his studies under Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music, eventually becoming a professor at the Royal Northern College of Music (then the Royal Academy of Music) in Manchester. He later became Visiting Professor of Composition at Boston University.

He composed several chamber and piano works, as well as a number of concertos - most notoriously the Concerto Popolare composed for Gerard Hoffnung’s first music festival in 1956.

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