Dinu Lipatti was born March 19, 1917 in Bucharest. He began studying piano with his mother at the age of four, and later became a pupil of Mihail Jora and Florica Musicescu of the Bucharest Conservatory. When he was 16, Lipatti entered the 1933 Vienna International Music Competition and tied for second place. Jury member Alfred Cortot was infuriated, and a year later Lipatti went to study with him at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where his other teachers included Lefebure, Munch, Dukas, and Boulanger.
Returning to Rumania at the outbreak of World War II, Lipatti escaped to Switzerland with his fiancee Madeleine Cantacuzene in 1943, at which time the first signs of Hodgkin’s Disease appeared. He was the following year appointed professor at the Geneva Conservatory, a post he held for five years.
In 1946 he signed an exclusive contract with EMI, but made only a few hours’ worth of recordings before he died in 1950 at the age of 33. These recordings have remained in the catalogue ever since they were released and have been supplemented with a few live performances. More than 50 years after his death, Lipatti remains a best-selling artist, and the search for more recordings continues.