Mischa Mischakoff: Journeys of a Concertmaster

By Anne Mischakoff Heiles. Mischa Mischakoff, widely considered the world’s finest concertmaster in the mid-twentieth century and called “Toscanini’s third hand” by critics and conductors, enjoyed a seven-decade career in the first chair. This biography by his daughter, also containing many passages in his own words, describes that career in Russia, Poland, and the top orchestras of America. It highlights as well the personal traits and experiences that made Mischakoff so outstanding as a concertmaster and that sustained him through revolutions, wars, and the politics of the world of music. The memoir is enlivened by the recollections of his family and students and some hundred photographs of Mischakoff and the conductors and musicians with whom he worked. Two cadenzas written for him by Arturo Toscanini, as well as Mischakoff’s own markings for a violin solo in Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, are published here for the first time. An accompanying CD features excerpts of Mischakoff’s playing in his divergent roles as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and concertmaster.

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