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Violinist & Composer Fritz Kreisler Was Born in 1875

He is widely regarded as one of the finest violinists of all time, remembered for his characteristic sweet tone, charm, and expressive phrasing

 

Austrian-American violin virtuoso & composer Fritz Kreisler entered the Vienna Conservatory at age 7 to study with Anton BrucknerJoseph Hellmesberger and Jakob Dont. Later he furthered his studies in composition and violin at the Paris Conservatory, where his teachers included Léo DelibesLambert Massart, and Jules Massenet.

After serving as an officer in the Austrian army, in 1899, he returned to the stage as a concert violinist, quickly rising to prominence.

He composed a number of solo encore works for violin and piano, including Liebesleid and Liebesfreud, both published in 1905. They were originally ascribed to earlier composers, such as Gaetano Pugnani, Giuseppe Tartini and Joseph Lanner, but then, in 1935, Kreisler revealed that it was he who composed the pieces. When critics complained, Kreisler replied that they had already deemed the compositions worthy: "The name changes, the value remains," he said.

Kreisler also composed two operettas, a string quartet, and virtuosic solo cadenzas for Brahms', Beethoven's and Paganini's Violin Concertos.

In 1910, he gave the first performance of Edward Elgar’s Violin Concerto, which was dedicated to him.

The Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition, which was named after the virtuoso, will return in 2026. The last winner of the competition was the 17-year-old Brazilian Guido Sant'Anna e Silva in 2022.

Kreisler died of a heart condition aggravated by old age in New York City in 1962.

 

FRITZ KREISLER & FRANZ RUPP | LIEBESFREUD | 1938

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