Outstanding article about the life of Mieczyslaw Weinberg and his music, written by Robert R. Reilly in 2000 (reproduced by permission), as well as quotations about, and from, Weinberg.
Short essay about Weinberg's music, a thematically sorted list of works with brief commentary on various pieces, as well as information about obtaining musical scores.
Reviews and recommendations of CDs with performances of Weinberg's works (for first-time as well as ‘seasoned’ Weinberg listeners).
References to additional reading material, such as articles, conference papers, books and theses.
Links to other useful resources/sites about Weinberg, including a comprehensive discography and a list of some major recording labels releasing Weinberg's music.
Announcements of upcoming (and past) concerts, events, and CD releases (see further below).
Commentary about Weinberg's surname, written by the Weinberg expert Per Skans (see further below)
If you would like to share information about upcoming concerts, CD releases, conferences/events, or any other information pertaining to the life or music of Mieczysław Weinberg, then please get in touch via e-mail.
Why not Vainberg?
Why not Wainberg?
The reason is very simple: Weinberg is correct, all other spellings are wrong! Weinberg grew up and spent his first twenty years in Poland, where the Latin alphabet is used, and he and his family spelt the name exactly this way. Its origin is German/Yiddish. Any other spelling in the Latin alphabet must thus be avoided!
I confess having a certain guilt myself, since I once accepted – without checking them – certain rumours that Weinberg himself preferred the spelling “Vainberg”. I discovered my error after I had written the texts for half a dozen CDs in the large series of Olympia in London, and I wanted to change the spelling, but they refused. In fact I understand this, because it would have confused their customers if they had changed it in the middle of a series. Nevertheless the CDs have unfortunately contributed to the present Babylonic situation.
The variety of (wrong) spellings is due to the circumstance that various people believed that the original spelling of the name was the one of the Russian alphabet. They then transliterated the name into the Latin alphabet, according to various rules (an ironical detail being that Soviet scores -- of all! -- used the correct spelling Weinberg!). But now Weinberg is becoming increasingly accepted. The New Groves, the famous dictionary, used the English transliteration “Vaynberg” some years ago, but in the Internet edition they have now corrected this into Weinberg.
I am at present writing a biography in English which is scheduled to appear in 2005 at Toccata Press in London; there I of course am using the correct spelling Weinberg!
Uppsala, Sweden” (from personal correspondence with Per Skans)
Since Per Skans wrote this text in the early 2000s, research by the Polish musicologist Danuta Gwizdalanka has revealed that Weinberg's surname in his birth certificate appears as “Wajnberg” (see her 2015 article in culture.pl), and it seems the composer also signed his Polish letters with the same surname. Could it be then that he felt, in accord with his three national-ethnic identities (Jewish by background, Polish by birth and Russian by adoption), that he should use three separate spellings, i.e. for Poland he was Wajnberg, for Russia he was Вайнберг (Vainberg) and for the rest of the world, Weinberg? This is something we may never find out. But one thing is clear: the music speaks in the same way regardless of what name is attached to it. In line with the majority of publications made since 2010 and the wish of Per Skans, music-weinberg.net uses the spelling “Weinberg”, in combination with the composer's preferred first name, “Mieczysław”.
Sadly, Per Skans passed away in 2007, before being able to complete the book mentioned above. Nevertheless, the book project was not abandoned, and was handed over to David Fanning from the University of Manchester, UK, who is currently taking it to its full realization. An interim book reflecting the ongoing work is already published in English and German translation. David Fanning is a strong Weinberg exponent, and while perhaps not all opinions expressed there are shared universally, the book is a worthwhile read for any admirer (current and even potential!) of Weinberg's music. More recently, Danuta Gwizdalanka and Dan Elphick have published monographs on Weinberg in Polish and English, respectively, which likewise deserve attention (see below and also the Further Reading page for a more complete list of additional reading material).
This page is not ready yet, but will be up and running sometime in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. The announcement will be made in the News section of the front page. Look out for it!