Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ida Haendel

Ida Haendel is an English violinist of Polish descent born in 1928. She took up the violin before she turned four and as a seven-year-old was admitted to the Warsaw Conservatory. She later studied with Carl Flesch and George Enescu in Paris. In 1937 (age nine), she made her London debut. Her career was interrupted by World War Two but in 1946, she was the first artist to appear with the Israel Philharmonic. In 1952, she moved to Canada and remained there until 1989, when she settled in Miami. Her autobiography, Woman with Violin, was published in 1970. She famously said "You cannot play with inspiration when the conductor is an imbecile." Since 1946, she has toured extensively and has also recorded most of the standard repertoire. Some of her performances can be seen on YouTube. Haendel plays either a Guarnerius or Stradivarius violin – I don’t know which.

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