Musicians in the hands of Europe

This summer I have been visiting Serbia for the first time and I have noticed a purple banknote with the face of a serious musician… and a violin in the background. Accustomed to the schematic drawings of our euros, suddenly I had realised that I miss banknotes with faces and detailed drawings.

What do you think if I show you the current European bancknotes with musicians’ faces? For more details of their lives, you can read the Wikipedia; I learned the basic information from a very interesting article of a digital music station: ‘Classic FM’.

6 billetes con caras de músicos

Six musicians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries show their faces in European banknotes

1. Switzerland
This note, which is equivalent to €17.5, features Arthur Honegger, who was a Swiss composer and violinist of the 19th-20th century. He loved the locomotives, so he wrote the orchestra piece ‘Pacific 231’ (Symphonic Movement No. 1) that mimics its sound. He wrote also ‘Rugby’ (Symphonic Movement No. 2), emulating a rugby match.
20 francos suizos

20 Swiss Franc

2. Serbia
The composer, director and music teacher Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac poses seriously on this banknote which is worth €0.42. Considered as “the father of Serbian music” and “the most important figure in Serbian musical romanticism”, Stevan founded the Serbian School of Music and the first Serbian string quartet in which he played the cello.
50 dinares Serbia

50 Serbian Dinar

3. Romania
In this colorful note, the violinist and composer George Enescu is shown. He was a composer, violinist, pedagogue, pianist and director… in short, one of the most important musicians in Romania, but he also worked in France. At the age of 5 he gave his first violin concert. Later, he became the teacher of Yehudi Menuhin, who always remembered him fondly.
5 Lei Rumanía

5 Lei

4. Norway
The opera singer Kirsten Flagstad looks away on this bancknote equivalent to €10.8. Very expressive on stage, she is considered one of the best Wagnerian sopranos of the twentieth century.
100 coronas Noruega

100 Norwegian Krone

5. Sweden
This banknote worths €5.3 and shows the Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, who became in the 19th century the prima donna of the Swedish Royal Opera. She was a close friend to Hans Christian Andersen, and in 1850 accepted the proposal to do a tournée of 150 concerts in the USA to give the profit to a girls orphanage in her town of origin.
50 coronas Suecia

50 Swedish Krona

6. Denmark
It worths €13.44 and shows us the bust of one of the most renowned composers in Denmark: Carl Nielsen. Although his family was quite poor, he studied violin and piano (his father was his first music teacher). He also learned several wind instruments because he participated in a military band. The premiere of his first symphony had no repercussions until it was played in Berlin, which catapulted him to fame.
100 coronas Dinamarca

100 Krone