Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yehudi Menuhin

Yehudi Menuhin, was a Russian violinist and conductor born on April 22, 1916 (Heifetz was 15 years old.) He began his career as a child prodigy, having started on the violin at age 3. His teachers were Sigmund Anker, Louis Persinger, Eugene Ysaye, Adolf Busch, and Georges Enesco, among others. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1923 – at age 7. It is after a concert of his in 1929 that Einstein made the comment after hearing him play "Now I know that there is a God!" All I know is that he played the Paganini Moto Perpetuo faster than anyone else I’ve heard. He was one of four concert violinists to play three concerti in one concert (1929 - Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.) Raymond Cohen, Szymon Goldberg, and Henryk Szeryng were the other three. He was also the first Jewish musician to play in Germany after the Holocaust (1947.) His recording contract with EMI set a record for longevity (70 years.) Menuhin played the Prince Khevenhuller Stradivarius (1733), among other fine violins. In the midst of his career he developed arm problems for which he consulted Theodore Pashkus and his wife (Alice), well-known violin pedagogues at the time. He died on March 12, 1999, at age 82. 

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