- Louis Kaufman
Louis Kaufman (
May 10, 1905, Portland, Oregon– February 9, 1994, Los Angeles, California) was an American violinistand possibly the most recorded musical artist of the 20th century. He played the soundtrack on as many as 500 movies and over 100 musical recordings. He is also credited with reviving the music of Antonio Vivaldiwith his recording of " The Four Seasons" in 1950, which won the Grand Prix du Disque.
With the recommendation of
Maud Powelland Efrem Zimbalist, Kaufman started at the age of 13 to study with Franz Kneiselin New York Cityat the Institute of Musical Art, now Juilliard. He played the violin with the Musical Art Quartetfrom 1926 to 1933. His solo recital debut at New York's Town Hall in 1928 won him the Naumburg Award.
Subsequently, he performed chamber music with
Pablo Casals, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Efrem Zimbalist.
He was an accomplished violinist, playing 15-minute radio recitals when he was asked to play the soundtrack for
Ernst Lubitsch's movie " The Merry Widow"; this performance opened up a long career in performing soundtracks for Hollywood films, including such classics as "Casablanca", "Gone with the Wind", "The Diary of Anne Frank", "Wuthering Heights", "The Grapes of Wrath", and "Spartacus". It is variously estimated that he made 400 solo performances for movies and acted as the concertmasterfor several hundred.
He also premiered a number of notable 20th century composers, including works by
Aaron Copland, Darius Milhaud, and Bohuslav Martinů, and made the premiere recording [Kaufman and Kaufman 2003, p.124.] of Samuel Barber's violin concerto.
He and his wife, the pianist
Annette Kaufman(née Leibole) often performed together. In September 2003, she published the book "A Fiddler's Tale - How Hollywood and Vivaldi Discovered Me" (ISBN 0-299-18380-7), with Louis Kaufman as principle author and Annette Kaufman as co-author.
The couple donated a large collection of personal papers to the
Library of Congressin 2000, which included papers from such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz, and others. They also donated a large art collection to the National Gallery of Artand Syracuse University.
[http://youtube.com/watch?v=Xoq9QyZGOVE Louis Kaufman plays Saint-Saens Havanaise op.83]
* [http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2000/00-115.html Library of Congress profile of Louis Kaufman]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E0DC1038F931A25751C0A962958260 New York Times obituary of Louis Kaufman]
* Louis Kaufman and Annette Kaufman: "A Fiddler's Tale: How Vivaldi and Hollywood Discovered Me: My Adventures in Music and Art". 2003. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-18380-7
* [http://www.wnyc.org/stream/ram.py?file=ranews/fishko/fishko072503.ra WNYC Fishko Files on Louis Kaufman]
Antonio Stradivari, violin 1727 Barrere Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, violin 1774 ex-Beel Guadagnini violin 1775c ex-Zimbalist; ex-Kaufman Nicolas Lupot, violin 1809 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaumeviolin copy of "La Pucelle" Stradivari #1489 c.1839
* [http://www.symphony.org/news/room/03nd_fiddler.shtml American Symphony Orchestra League profile]
* [http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/books/2232.htm University of Wisconsin Press profile of autobiography]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0442209/ IMDB profile for Louis Kaufman]
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