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Mischa Elman Home Page

Born: January 20, 1891 (Talnoi, Ukraine)

Died: April 5, 1967 (NYC)

US Citizenship: 1923

Original name: Mikhail/Moses/Moishe Saulovich Elman

Family: Married Helen Frances Katten on May 6, 1925. They had a daughter (Nadia) and a son (Joseph).

Instrument: Violin

Mischa Elman was one of the great violinists of the 20th century. He was famed for his passionate style and beautiful tone. The grandson of a violin-playing klezmer, his obvious talent and perfect pitch encouraged his father to bring him to Odessa at the age of six to study at the Imperial Academy of Music. At the age of 11 he auditioned for Leopold Auer and was admitted to the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

As was the custom at the time, Elman began his career by playing in the homes of wealthy patrons, making his Berlin debut in 1904 and his London debut a year later. His debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, while he was still in his teens, brought his talents to an ever-widening audience. Subsequently, he toured Australia,  Europe, East Asia and the United States, sometimes performing over a hundred concerts in a 29-week season.

In 1958 he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his debut in the United States with a return performance in New York’s Carnegie Hall. He was hailed as one of the greatest violin virtuosos of his time and played with every major symphony orchestra in America.

Elman's recorded legacy spanned over 60 years. His first 78 rpm discs were made for Pathe, in Paris, in 1906.  He continued recording until shortly before his death in 1967.  All of the recordings in this collection are 78 rpm discs produced by Victor/Victrola between 1906 and 1921.  


These recordings were produced prior to 1923 and are in the public domain.

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