Sunday, June 21, 2009

Louis Krasner

Louis Krasner was a Russian (Ukrainian) violinist, teacher, and composer born on June 21, 1903 (Heifetz was 2 years old.) He is remembered for having commissioned and premiered Alban Berg’s violin concerto. Krasner asked for the concerto in 1934 - Berg completed it in 1935 and Krasner premiered it in 1936 in Spain. He also premiered the Schoenberg violin concerto (in 1940) among other modern works. Krasner’s live recordings of each concerto date from 1938 and 1954, respectively. Krasner came to the U.S. from Russia as a 5 year-old boy. After the usual course of study at Boston English High School, he attended and graduated from the New England Conservatory. As had Alfredo Campoli, Geza Legocky, Albert Sammons, Vasa Prihoda, Jacques Thibaud, and Grigoras Dinicu, he played popular music in clubs in order to support himself while he studied. He also studied violin in Europe with Lucien Capet, Otakar Sevcik, and Carl Flesch. In the U.S., he studied with Eugene Gruenberg (of the Boston Symphony), among others. He played his New England Conservatory graduation recital in 1922 though he graduated in 1923. After concertizing for two decades, he became concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony (1944-1949.) He then moved to Syracuse, New York to teach at Syracuse University. Krasner retired from concertizing in 1973 but dedicated the rest of his life to teaching - he taught at the New England Conservatory from 1976 until the year he died. Krasner died on May 4, 1995.

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