Bronislaw Huberman

Bronislaw Huberman

Bronisław Huberman (19 December 1882 – 16 June 1947) was a Jewish Polish violinist. He was known for his individualistic and personal interpretations and was praised for his tone color, expressiveness, and flexibility. The Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius violin which bears his name was stolen and recovered twice during the period in which he owned the instrument. Huberman is also remembered for founding the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (then known as the Palestine Philharmonic) and thus providing refuge from the Third Reich for nearly 1,000 European Jews.

Huberman was born in Częstochowa, Poland. In his youth he was a pupil of Mieczyslaw Michalowicz and Maurycy Rosen at the Warsaw Conservatory, and of Isidor Lotto in Paris. In 1892 he studied under Joseph Joachim in Berlin. Despite being only ten years old, he dazzled Joachim with performances of Louis Spohr, Henri Vieuxtemps, and the transcription of a Frédéric Chopin nocturne. However, the two did not get along well, and after Huberman's fourteenth birthday he took no more lessons. In 1893 he toured the Netherlands and Belgium as a virtuoso performer. Around this time, the six-year-old Arthur Rubinstein attended one of Huberman's concerts. Rubinstein's parents invited Huberman back to their house and the two boys struck up what would become a lifetime friendship. In 1894 Adelina Patti invited Huberman to participate in her farewell gala in London, which he did, and in the following year he actually eclipsed her in appearances in Vienna. In 1896 he performed the violin concerto of Johannes Brahms in the presence of the composer, who was stunned by the quality of his playing.

He married the German actress Elza Galafrés (also described as a singer and ballerina). They had a son, Johannes, but the marriage did not last. She later met the Hungarian composer and pianist Ernő Dohnányi, but neither Huberman nor Dohnányi's then wife would consent to divorce. Elza and Dohnányi nevertheless had a child out of wedlock in 1917, and in 1919, after Huberman had granted her a divorce, she married Dohnányi, who then adopted Huberman's son Johannes.

In the 1920s and early 1930s, Huberman toured around Europe and North America with the pianist Siegfried Schultze and performed on the most famous stages (Carnegie in New York, Scala in Milan, Musikverein in Vienna, Konzerthaus in Berlin....). Over the course of many years, the duet Huberman-Schultze were regularly invited in private by European Royal Families. Countless recordings of these artists were done during that period at the "Berliner Rundfunk" and unfortunately destroyed during the Second World War.

In 1937, a year before the Anschluss, Huberman left Vienna and took refuge in Switzerland. The following year, his career nearly ended as a result of an airplane accident in Sumatra in which his wrist and two fingers of his left hand were broken. After intensive and painful retraining he was able to resume performing. At the onset of the Second World War, Huberman was touring South Africa and was unable to return to his home in Switzerland until after the war. Shortly thereafter he fell ill from exhaustion and never regained his strength. He died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, on June 16, 1947, at age 64.

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Bronislaw Huberman

Bronislaw Huberman

Bronisław Huberman (19 December 1882 – 16 June 1947) was a Jewish Polish violinist. He was known for his individualistic and personal interpretations and was praised for his tone color, expressiveness, and flexibility. The Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius violin which bears his name was stolen and recovered twice during the period in which he owned the instrument. Huberman is also remembered for founding the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (th...

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8 albums
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BACH  Violin Concerto No. 1
BACH Violin Concerto No. 2
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 4

Studio & Live Recordings · 1934 and 1945
Total duration: 76:12

Bronislaw Huberman violin
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Issay Dobrowen
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York - Bruno Walter

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    BEETHOVEN  Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
    BRAHMS
     Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
    Studio and live recordings · 1934 & 1944
    Total duration: 76:23

    Bronislaw Huberman, violin
    Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    George Szell,
    conductor
    Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York

    Artur Rodzinski,
    conductor
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    BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 9 'Kreutzer'
    Encores by BACH, BRAHMS, BRUCH, CHOPIN, ELGAR, SCHUBERT

    Studio recordings, 1929-1935

    Total duration: 78:06

    Bronislaw Huberman, violin
    Ignaz Friedman, 
    piano
    Siegfried Schultze, 
    piano 

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    TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
    LALO
    Symphonie Espagnole
    Encores by Brahms, Chopin, Sarasate, Tchaikovsky and Zarzycki

    Studio and live recordings, 1928-34
    Total duration: 72:03

    Bronislaw Huberman, violin
    William Steinberg ∙ Staatskapelle Berlin

    George Szell ∙ Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    Siegfried Schultze
    , piano