Violin Soloists at the BSO in the Early 20th Century

Violin-ExhibitViolin Soloists at the BSO in the Early 20th Century

This exhibit case was inspired by Michael Nieland’s generous donation to the BSO Archives of a violin bow made by Parisian bowmaker J.B. Vuillaume, ca. 1859 which is inscribed to violin pedagogue and soloist Carl Flesch. Flesch was among the many violin soloists who performed with the BSO in the early part of the 20th Century.

 

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Memoirs-CoverFeatured Documents
Click the links below to view the full documents.

The Memoirs of Carl Flesch Book Cover (PDF)
Translated by Hans Keller and edited by him in collaboration with C.F. Flesch; with a Foreword by Max Rostal. Rockliff Publishing Corporation: London, 1957. Gift of Michael Nieland, 2019

1950 Receipt for J.B. Vuillaume Violin Bow (PDF)
Receipt for J.B. Vuillaume violin bow when it was sold to a previous owner, November 22, 1950. The bow was later presented to Carl Flesch.

Soloists Whom Boston Will Hear at This Year's Symphony Concerts (PDF)
Boston Herald “Rotogravure Section” highlighting soloists to appear with the BSO during the 1917-1918 season, including violinists Fritz Kreisler, Irma Seydel, and Efrem Zimbalist.

 


Featured Photographs
Click each thumbnail to view the full photograph.

Flesch
Carl Flesch (1873-1944) (shown left) was not only an outstanding concert violinist and chamber music player, but also one of the greatest violin teachers of all times. Flesch’s The Art of Violin Playing and Scale System continue to be staples of violin pedagogy today.

He performed with the BSO as a violin soloist a total of five times: two performances of the Brahms Violin Concerto, April 3-4, 1914, with Karl Muck conducting; and three performances of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, with Pierre Monteux conducting, March 20-22, 1924.

Click here for Mr. Flesch's performance history with the BSO

Photograph taken from The Memoirs of Carl Flesch
Violin-Bow
Violin bow by J.B. Vuillaume of Paris, ca. 1859
Presented to violin soloist and pedagogue Carl Flesch.

Take a closer look at the bow's gold-mounted tortoiseshell frog engraved “A donné à Maître Flesch”

Gift of Michael Nieland, 2019
Enesco
Georges Enesco (1881-1951)
Enesco was a Romanian composer, violinist, conductor, pianist, and teacher. This photograph is inscribed by Enesco to BSO orchestra librarian Leslie Rogers: “Pour Monsieur L.J. Rogers, avec mon très cordial souvenir.” Enesco’s debut with the BSO on January 19-20, 1923 featured him as soloist, conductor, and composer. On the same program on which he performed the Brahms Violin Concerto, with Pierre Monteux conducting, he also conducted the BSO in a performance of his Suite No. 1 for Orchestra.

Click here for Mr. Enesco's performance history with the BSO

Photographer unknown
Spaulding
Albert Spalding (1888-1953)
Spalding, an American violinist, shown here in later life, made his debut with the BSO as a soloist on January 12, 1917, in a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, with Karl Muck conducting. In all, he performed 32 times with the BSO between the years 1917 and 1945, also making a single solo performance with the Pops in 1951.

Click here for Mr. Spaulding's performance history with the BSO

Photographer unknown
Seydel
Irma Seydel, undated (1896-?)
The daughter of BSO member Theodor Seyel (double bass, 1894-1927), American violinist Irma Seydel began her violin studies under her father’s tutelage at the age of three, and then went on to study with BSO members Gustav Strube and Charles Martin Loeffler. She soloed with the BSO eight times between the years 1912 and 1920. She inscribed her portrait to BSO orchestra librarian Leslie Rogers: “To Mr. Rogers in memory of ‘our debut’ at the Worcester Festival, 1912.”

Click here for Ms. Seydel's performance history with the BSO

Photographer unknown
Elman
Mischa Elman (1891-1961)
Ukranian-born Jewish-American violinist Mischa Elman, made his debut with the BSO in 1909 at the age of 17. Between 1909 and 1956 he performed with the BSO 42 times.

Click here for Mr. Elman's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Mason
Menges
Isolde Menges (1893-1976)
A student of Leopold Auer and Carl Flesch, English violinist Menges performed the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with Pierre Monteux and the BSO on January 14, 15, 1921.

Click here for Ms. Menges's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Arlette, Toronto
Heifetz
Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987)
Considered by many to be the greatest violinist of all time, Russian-American violinist Jascha Heifetz performed with the BSO a total of 31 times between the years 1919 and 1955.

Click here for Mr. Heifetz's performance history with the BSO

Photographer unknown
Kriesler
Fritz Kriesler (1875-1962)
Austrian-born violinist and composer Fritz Kriesler performed with the BSO at 78 concerts between the years 1901 and 1920. His compositions are performed most often at Boston Pops concerts.

Click here for Mr. Kriesler's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Aime Dupont
Thibaud
Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953)
French violinist Jacques Thibaud performed with the BSO as violin soloist on 13 occasions between the years 1918 and 1929. His six performances in 1921 and 1924 were conducted by Pierre Monteux. Thibaud and Monteux both studied violin at the Paris Conservatory and shared the violin prize in 1896.

Click here for Mr. Thibaud's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Apeda
Ippolito
Carmela Ippolito (1902-?)
A native of East Boston, Ippolito made her debut with the BSO at the age of 20, on November 16, 1922, in a performance of Bruch’s first violin concerto. She was a 1918 graduate of the Longy School of Music where her teachers included BSO violinist Charles Martin Loeffler.

Click here for Ms. Ippolito's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Garo
Luboshutz
Lea Luboshutz (1885-1965)
Russian violinist Luboshutz performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the BSO, December 14-15, 1928, with Serge Koussevitzky conducting. Her remarkable life story is told by her grandson Thomas Wolf in The Nightingale’s Sonata: The Musical Odyssey of Lea Luboshutz (Pegasus books, 2019)

Click here for Ms. Luboshutz's performance history with the BSO

Photograph by Kubey-Rembrandt Studios