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October 15, 1939 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1939-10-15

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____________________________ U



Fritz Kreisler, Violin
Maestro, To Play Here

Rubenstein Will Conclude Concerts

Bartlett And Rae Robertson
Tot Give Arrangements
Here. In Choral Series
Pair Played Here
For May Festival
The corncert to be presented Wed-
nesday evening, Feb. 14, in the Hill
Auditorium promises to be a novel
and unusual one, if the performance,
of its two artists, Ethel Bartlett and
tae Robertson, can be judged by their
Bartlett and Robertson, who re-
ceived a great ovation in last year's
May Festival concert here in Ann
Arbor, willi be back with another pro-
gram of two-piano selections. Ac-,
cording tot the Manchester Guardian,
"theses artists show that' playing on
two pipnos need not be the mechan-
ical thing which most musical duet-
ists make it. Perhaps there must be
some mysterious bond greater than
that of common artistic insight link-
ing two people who are to become
so whe1iy one at the keyboard .
Two musicians of whom we are in-
ordinatdy proud and who have justi-
fied our pride by playing with im-
mense suecess in foreign countries."
Studied Under Schnabel
Ethela Bartlett was born and edu-
cated in London. She comes of a
musical family, and very early in fer
career- won the Associated, Board
Scholarship. She studied at the
Royal Academy of Music with Fred-
erick Moore and Tobias Matthay.
Later sklw went to Berlin, where her
teacher was Arthur Schnabel. Re-
turning to England, she made a high-
ly successful debut in London, and
for a tirme. played and toured exten-
sively as a virtuiso. At this time she
_and frerjuvotly Playjed at the Queen's
Hall Poenade Concerts, besides ap-
pearing at most of the provincial
cities in Great Britain.
She also. made a great reputation
for herself in chamber music, and
besides quintet, quartet and trio work,
was associated with John Barbirolli,
the present conductor of the New
York Philharmonic-Symphony Or-
chestra, in 'cello sonata recitals.
Rae Robertson was born in In-
vernessSotland. He cannot remem-
ber the time, when he did not play
the piano. His home was near some
military barracks, and he would re-
peat by ear all the tunes he heard
there, whether it was band or pipe
Sved From Front By Piano
When he was six, his playing at a
party attracted the attention of a
lady who had been a pupil at the
Leipzig Conservatoire. She immedi-
ately offered to give him free tuition,
and the offer was accepted without
hesitation, Later he went to Edin-
burgh :University to prepare for his
master's degree, and while there con-
tinuedf. his piano work with Philip
Halstead. He won the Bucher Schol-
arship: for music, and was preparing
to go to Berlin to study under Car-
reno when. the first world war broke
dut. Sf instead of Berlin, he went
to London for a few months and
studied :with Tobias Matthay at the
Royale Academy. Then he threw
away his scholarship and joined the
army as -a Tommy.
He served for four years, and was
twice wounded-once in the hand
,and once on the arm. Then he came
home to England for hospitalization.
There. the authorities discovered his
genius- at the piano, and gave him
no alternative but to join the hos-
pital concert party. After that there
was never any question of his going
back to the front!

Met As Fellow Students'
After the war he completed his
scholarship at the academy.
When he first went to the Acad-
emy he. had met Ethel Bartlett as
a fellow student. Something mora
than a warm friendship had sprung
up between them. While he was^ in
France they had written to each other
regularly. As soon as their Academy
days were over they were married.
Later> Robertson toured as pianist.
with the Russian Ballet, playing the
piano parts in "Petrouchka" and
"The Three-Cornered Hat." Steadily
he and his wife built up considerable
reputations as solo pianists, and in
1927 they gave their first joint recital.
It was an immediate success and they
have been at the top ever since.
Kreisler Is Expert
L Various Fields
Many amazing things arc true of
Fritz Kreisler, the violinist. For in-
le is as fine a. pianist as he is a
violinist, in the, opinion of manry,

Famous Concert Artist Cit
Prodigies Can J
Fritz Kreisler, violinist, who has
been called "the most beloved per-
sonality now appearing on the con-
cert stage," will appear here Monday,
Nov. 6, in a featured concert of this
season's Choral UnionSeries.
Kreisler is a lhving refutation of
the theory that child prodigies rarely'
fulfill their promise in maturity. He
appeared in a concert in Vienna at
the age of seven and entered the
Vienna Conservatory the same year.
Three years later he carried off the
gold medal for violin playing.
At the age of ten he was admitted
to the Paris Conservatory where he
created quite a sensation; this "petit
Viennois," under the tutelage of such
masters as Massart and Delibes; Two
years rater young Fritz won the Pre-
/mier Grand Prix de Rome against
forty competitiors, and now.there was
.general recognition of this true gen-
Planned To Give Up Violin
Several years later, after two suc-
cessful tours, he upset the musical
world with an announcement that he
planned to give up .his violin com-
pletely and follow his father's foot-
steps and be a physician. He was
interrupted in this endeavor by a call
to military service, after which he
returned to his first love.
Mr. Kreisler has frequently been
isked about any special care he might
devote to his hands, to which he re-
plies, "I have never bothered myself
about them. During my whole life
I've never treated them as if they
were anything special. I am a fatal-
ist and have neither the leisure or
desire to fritter away time."
The possessor of a large collection
Series Grew
'With Building
Of Auditorium
Bigger, Better Concerts
Result From Donation
By ArthurHill, '65
With the moving of the Choral
Union concert series into Hill Audi-
torium, so has the quality and size of
the musical festival improved.
The Choral Union Concert Series
was first inaugurated during the sea-
son of 1879-1880, with the first May
Festival in 1894. For almost two de-
cades from that time the concerts and
festivals were held annually in the
small confines of University Hall.
In 1909, Arthur Hill, an alumnus
of the University, bequeathed funds
for the construction of an auditorium
wherein concerts, and other Univer-
sity functions might be held. He was
one of the first private donors to pro-
vids funds in large enough amounts to
care for needs which could not be
taken out of by the regular University
The Auditorium. was completed
early in 1913 and was first used to
stage the May Festival of that year.
Because of his contribution and in-
terest, the auditorium has been
named for Mr. Hill. Today it sta ds
as an imposing structure on North
University avenue, one of the finest
college auditoriums in the nation.

ed As Living Proof That
Fulfill Promise
of violins, Kreisler has four whichc
he uses in iis recitals, all o them
very famous. For concerts given in 1
smaller halls he uses his Stradivari-
us, a small, beautifully delicate in-
strument with the fine silvery tone
characteristic of the best Stradivarii.
He alternates this with his Gagliano,
which is the work of one of the earli-
est Florentine violin-makers.
He has two Guarerius violins which
he uses for recitals in large halls
and for appearance with the orches-
tra. One of these formerly belonged
to Wilhmj and is dated 1737. The
other, made in 1742, was long held
at a fabulous figure by the house
of Hill of London, and Kreiser real-
ized the fulfillment pf a life-long de-
sire in finally acquiring it.
. Has No Artistic Temperament
Mr. Kreisler believes in living the
t9days, and never the yesterdays or
tomorrows. He confesses, somewhat
apologetically, that he has no artis-
tic temperament and he goes through
no special ritual before or after a
His traveling manager and accom-
panist are fiercely protective when
on tour with him, for alone he would
be utterly defenseless against the
hordes of admirers who would take
up his time and energy if they could
reach him.
In a more obscure walk of life, it
is, said, he would be the best loved
and most imposed on man in the
community; the kind of man who
would be nice to wallflowers at a
party, who would listen with interest
to a neighbor's recital of his ail-
ments, and who would lend money
to his friends without security.
Among the opinions which Kreisler
has is that the amateur gets more
out of music than the professional
and that every really great musician
is at heart an amateur.
He believes that he became a viol-
inist because his father wanted to
be one and couldn't. The latter was
forced by his parents to study for a
"bread and meat" career and thus
became a doctor. Yet, the elder
Kreisler was a great lover of music
and used to meet with his friends
in town to play. These men really
strove to understand music, Fritz
Kreisler once said, and they got
much more out of it than do artists
because they are not handicapped by
being professionals.
Owns Valuable Library
The most reasured possession, aside
from his favorite Stradivarius, of
Fritz Kreisler is his library, which
contains many thousands of volumes.
As he, , himself does not even know
just how many books are in it, these
volumes, many of them worth several
thousand dollars each, have been sent
to London to be catalogued by ex-
The keystone of the philosophy of
this great musical master is that
music is a fundamental need of man.
Man naturally needs music, and not
only music, but good music is his
opinion and he further believes that
much of the present day musical out-
put was "written for the metro-
"Music has gone astray," he said
in a recent interview, "nevertheless
it is, and always will be what it has
been through the ages-a cultural
necessity, a necessary medium for the
refreshing of a person's soul and
spirit, so he can concentrate upon
higher things."




The beauty of his voice and the
magic of his personality have won
artistic triumph for him in the
music capitals of the world.
According to the New York Times,
h is "the re antet living Gurne-

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