Violinist and composer Felix Yaniewicz – father of the first Edinburgh Festival

Yaniewicz portrait with frame high res colour adjusted (2)

David Kettle discovers the history of the 18th-century Polish–Lithuanian violinist, composer and entrepreneur Felix Yaniewicz

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The chance discovery in November 2019 of an 18th-century square piano, recently restored, up for sale online, led to the unearthing of a little-known but compelling figure in European music – violinist and composer Felix Yaniewicz. Just as importantly, however, it also shone a bright new light not only on Edinburgh as a vibrant musical centre around 1800, but also on the pivotal role that immigrant European musicians have long played in British musical life…

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