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OSIAS WILENSKI – Autobiography

Osias Wilenski was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from a polish father and a Russian mother, that met by chance in Argentina.

From an early age he studied piano with  professor Vicente Scaramuzza and harmony, counterpoint and composition with Dr.Erwin Leuchter, that had himself been  a pupil of Alban  Berg. From him comes his early interest in 12-tone music, a system that Wilenski has abandoned since.

During the 50s and through the suggestion of  pianist Arturo Rubinstein, Wilenski won a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he resided for several years.

There, he studied composition with William Bergsma, William Schuman and Vincent Persichetti. He also had private piano lessons from virtuoso Simon Barere, of which he was the only pupil.

He started a solo pianist career and played concerts in New York in Hunter College and Town Hall.

When back in Argentina, he continued his piano tours, but later, in l960, suddenly abandoned music to dedicate  to the cinema and television.

From that period are several short films directed by him. “Moto Perpetuo” in l960 won first prize at the Mar del Plata film festival, and “Ramon Gomez de la Serna” in l966, a short about the house of the famous Spanish writer, won the short film prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain

Also two feature films, the l962 film “El Perseguidor”, based on a short story by Julio Cortazar and “Dale Nomás” (l966) a film in sketches by several argentinian writers.

In 1975 after several years of director in the newly built Canal 13 of television , he went back to music, entering as piano coach at the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires.

He also returned to his work as composer.

He had written  many works in his student years in Argentina and New York, most of them destroyed by himself

But many where re-written in different versions and slowly begun to be known and performed.

In 1978 he received the “Ensemblia” first prize from the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra  for his work “Improvvisos”

In 1983 he obtained the first prize from the “Wagneriana Asociation” for his work “La Leyenda del Kakuy” a symphonic poem for 6 instruments, based on an Indian legend from a central province of Agentina.

In 1989, partly because of the convulsive situation of Argentina, but also because of a contract to work as principal pianist at the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona, he leaves Argentina, and emigrates to Spain where he is now residing  in Barcelona. He has adopted the Spanish nationality.

From 1990 onwards come the most fertile years of composing, revising most of his previous works and starting new projects.

The list of his works, which are numbered up to fifty, include 4 string quartets, songs, chamber works, 3 piano sonatas and shorter piano works. He has also written  4 operas.

In 2007 he started a series of recordings of his piano works and chamber music, played or supervised by himself.

At present he is collaborating with Parma Recordings in the USA. They have made 2 CD together and a third one, which includes “The Legend of the Kakuy” was released  e in September of 2012.

His latest works include a wind quartet and a Concertino for oboe and strings (2012)

and his largest work for orchestra: a symphony, which is now in study for recording in the USA.

He is also planning  3 new CDs of more chamber music.


Osias Wilenski portrait
Osias Wilenski concertOsias Wilenski portrait
Osias Wilenski ¬ Kaufmann



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