The handsome pianist Dinu Lipatti was born in Bucharest, Romania on March 19, 1917. His parents were both musicians -- his mother a pianist, his father a violinist -- and composer Georges Enesco was his godfather.

His talents were evident from an early age; he gave concerts and composed piano pieces at age four. At 17, he finished second in the Vienna International Piano Competition. However, a judge, Alfred Cortot, felt so strongly that Lipatti gave the best performance that he resigned from the competition jury in protest and invited Lipatti to study under him and Nadia Boulanger at the Ecole Nationale de Musique in Paris.

Lipatti's reputation grew, and he was soon widely praised for his sense of rhythm and timing and his interpretation of Frederic Chopin. In 1944 he was appointed as a professor at the Geneva Music Conservatory, a position he held until 1948. After World War II ended, he planned a concert tour in America.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck. Lipatti had developed leukemia, and his worsening health forced cancellation of the tour. Fans and friends such as Igor Stravinsky, Charles Munch, and Yehudi Menuhin helped provide funds for cortisone treatments, and he showed signs of recovery. This was short-lived, however, and he played his final concert, in Europe, in autumn of 1950. He died on December 2 of that year.


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