Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joseph Achron

Joseph Achron was a Russian (Lithuanian) violinist and composer born on May 13, 1886 (Pablo Sarasate was already 42 years old and Joseph Joachim was 55.) He first studied with his father at age five. He later studied with Leopold Auer at the St Petersburg Conservatory. Achron toured Europe and Russia from 1918 until about 1924. In 1925, he came to the U.S. and taught, played many concerts, and wrote music for films and for the concert stage. His best known work is probably Hebrew Melody, written early in his composing career (1911). Heifetz was one of his benefactors, commissioning a violin concerto in 1938 or 1939. I don’t think Heifetz ever recorded it. Achron was the brother of the pianist and composer Isidor Achron, who became Jascha Heifetz's accompanist. Joseph Achron died in Hollywood, California in 1943.

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