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Maria Tănase

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Maria Tănase (25 September 1913 - 22 June 1963) was a singer of traditional and popular music.

Born in the Bucharest suburb of Cărămidari, Maria Tănase studied at the Şcola primară nr. 11 Tăbăcari, then at Ion Heliade Rădulescu High School before dropping out.

In 1934, she joined the Cărăbuş Theatre of Constantin Tănase, but she became famous only in 1938, when she made the first recordings for Romanian Radio, which were however destroyed by the anti-Semitic Iron Guard in 1940 under the pretext that they distorted Romanian folklore. The real reason for this appears to be the circle of friends of Maria Tănase, which included a number of Jewish intellectuals, such as the ethnologist Harry Brauner (the brother of the painter Victor Brauner) and the journalist Stefan Roll.

After a trip to Turkey, she sang in some shows organized for soldiers wounded in World War II together with other important Romanian musical and theatre personalities, such as George Enescu, George Vraca and Constantin Tănase.

In December 1943, she sang at the Christmas festivities at the Royal Cavalry Regiment, where King Michael I of Romania, Ion Antonescu, Mihai Antonescu and all the members of the government were present as guests. In 1955, she received the State Prize and in 1957 the title of Artist Emerita.

She died of cancer and is buried at Bellu cemetery.

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