Osias Wilenski was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From an early age he studied piano with Professor Vicente Scaramuzza and harmony, counterpoint and composition with Dr. Erwin Leuchter, who had been a pupil of Alban Berg. From Leuchter comes his early interest in 12-tone music, a system that Wilenski has abandoned since. During the 1950s 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, Wilenski continued his piano tours, but later, in l960, suddenly abandoned music to dedicate to the cinema and television. During that period, he directed several short films. In 1960, “Moto Perpetuo” won first prize at the Mar del Plata film festival. In 1966, “Ramon Gomez de la Serna”, a short about the house of the famous Spanish writer, won the short film prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. Wilenski also directed 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 Argentinean writers.
In 1975, after several years as 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. Many of Wilenski’s compositions, which had not yet been performed from his years as a student in Argentina and New York, began to receive performances.
In 1978 he was awarded the “Ensemblia” first prize from the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra for his work “Improvisos”. In 1983 he obtained the first prize from the “Wagneriana Association” for his work “La Leyenda del Kakuy”, a symphonic poem for 6 instruments, based on an Indian legend from a central province of Argentina.
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, Wilenski left Argentina, and emigrated to Spain where he now resides and has adopted the Spanish nationality.
From 1990 onwards came the most fertile years of composing, during this time Wilenski revisited many of his previous works and started multiple new projects. The list of Wilenski’s works, which are numbered up to fifty, include four string quartets, songs, chamber works, three piano sonatas and shorter works. Wilenski has also written 4 operas. In 2007 he started a series of recordings of his piano works and chamber music, played or supervised by him.
At present Wilenski is collaborating with PARMA Recordings in the USA. They have made two CDs together and a third one, which includes “The Legend of the Kakuy”, is to be released in 2012.
Catalog Number: NV6003
La Leyenda del Kakuy
Catalog Number: NV5882
Fine Music, Vol. 2
Catalog Number: NV5851
Catalog Number: NV5837