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Nathan Milstein
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Violinist
    (January 13, 1904-December 21, 1992)
    Born in Odessa, Ukraine
    Known for his interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo violin works and works from the Romantic period
    Composed ‘Paganiniana,’ a set of variations on themes from the works of Nicolo Paganini
    Re-arranged for violin works composed for other instruments by Chopin, Liszt, and Mussorgsky
    Naturalized US citizen (1942)
    He admitted, ‘‘I started to play the violin not because I was drawn to it, but because my mother forced me to.’
    During the 1920s, he and pianist Vladimir Horowitz toured the Soviet Union billed as ‘the children of the Revolution.’
    His aloof stage presence and refusal to play to the gallery restricted his popularity.
    After he bought a Stradivarius violin (1945), he named it ‘Maria Theresa,’ after his wife Therese and daughter Maria.
    His recording of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor was the first commercially released 33-1/3 rpm long playing album (1948).
    He was awarded the French Legion of Honor (1968).
    He was still playing at an expert level in his early 80s.
    He was forced into retirement when he broke his left hand in a fall (1988).
    His New York Times obituary called him ‘the most nearly perfect violinist of the 20th Century.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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