Dinu Lipatti (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈdinu liˈpati]; 1 April [O.S. 19 March] 1917 – 2 December 1950) was a Romanian classical pianist and composer whose career was cut short by his death from Hodgkin's disease at age 33. He was elected posthumously to the Romanian Academy.
Lipatti was born in Bucharest into a musical family: his father was a violinist who had studied with Pablo de Sarasate and Carl Flesch, his mother a pianist. For his baptism, which occurred not shortly after birth as is usual, but when he was old enough to play the piano, the violinist and composer George Enescu agreed to be his godfather. Lipatti played a minuet by Mozart at his own baptism. He studied at the Gheorghe Lazăr High School, while undergoing piano and composition studies with Mihail Jora for three years. He then attended the Bucharest Conservatoire, studying under Florica Musicescu, who also taught him privately. In June 1930, the best pupils at the Conservatoire gave a concert at the Bucharest Opera, and the 13-year old Lipatti received a huge ovation for his performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor. In 1932 he won prizes for his compositions: a Piano Sonatina, and a Sonatina for Violin and Piano. That year he also won a Grand Prize for his symphonic suite Les Tziganes.
He entered the 1933 Vienna International Piano Competition but finished second, because the jury considered him too young. Alfred Cortot, who thought Lipatti should have won, resigned from the jury in protest. Lipatti subsequently studied in Paris under Cortot, Nadia Boulanger (with whom he recorded some of Brahms's Waltzes Op. 39), Paul Dukas (composition) and Charles Munch (conducting). He gave his first concert, at the École Normale, on 20 May 1935. However, three days before the concert, Paul Dukas died; in memory of Dukas, Lipatti's first piece at his concert, and the piece he first publicly performed as an adult pianist, was J. S. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring...
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