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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Israel Philharmonic

Foundation of Israel Philharmonic in 1936 with Jewish refugees from Europe

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Bronislaw Huberman founding Israel Philharmonic in 1936 with Jewish refugees from Europe

from: Huberman, Bronislaw; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), Vol. 8

[Career in Poland and Germany until 1933]

<HUBERMAN, BRONISLAW (1882-1947), violinist and founder of the *Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in Czestochowa, Poland, Huberman was a child prodigy in Warsaw. At the age of ten, he played before the emperor Francis Joseph in Vienna and for the violinist Joseph *Joachim in Berlin. In 1893 he began playing in the main cities of Europe. An appearance with the famous soprano Adelina Patti led to many other engagements, and in 1896 he played the Brahms violin concerto in the presence of the composer. From then on Huberman was a celebrity. He played on Paganini's violin in Geneva in 1908 and was a frequent soloist in the concert halls of Germany.

When the Nazis introduced their measures against Jews in 1933, the (col. 1055)

German conductor Furtwaengler nevertheless invited Huberman to appear with him. Huberman refused and later gave his reasons in the English newspaper The Manchester Guardian, accusing the German intellectuals of having silently acquiesced in the actions of the Nazis.

[[The emigration wave of many German artists since 1933 is not mentioned. Also the emigration wave to Palestine and Ha'avarah agreement for German Jews emigrating to Palestine are not specially mentioned. Press articles confirm that Israel Philharmonic in the first years had an extraordinary "German" sound]].

[Founding of Israel Philharmonic in 1936 with Jewish refugees in Palestine - hand injury in 1937 - death in 1946]

Huberman made several appearances in Palestine and in 1936 assembled in Tel Aviv a number of experienced refugee musicians, raised the financial backing, and founded the Palestine Orchestra (later the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra). He thus created the basis for a full-fledged concert life in Israel. Arturo Toscanini agreed to conduct the opening concerts in December 1936, and the orchestra immediately acquired international standing. In October 1937, Huberman suffered a serious hand injury in a plane accident over Sumatra. It was not until late in 1938 that he was able to play with his orchestra, and he saw it for the last time in 1940.

[[There were more Polish Jewish musicians coming , and since 1938 there were coming also Jewish musicians from Austria and became members of Israel Philharmonic]].

War and travel difficulties prevented him from visiting Palestine again. In 1946 he sustained a fall which necessitated a delicate operation. He died in [[racist "neutral"]] Switzerland while while preparing for further concert appearances.

Huberman used his great technique not merely for display. He made it the means of evoking musical significance through personal expression. He wrote on matters. Between the two world wars he was active on behalf of the Pan-Europa movement. His papers and his musical estate were given to the Central Music Library in Tel Aviv.


-- MGG
-- Riemann-Gurlitt
--Grove, Dict
-- An Orchestra Is Born, a Monument to Bronislaw Huberman (compiled by I. Ibbeken, 1969).

[U.T.]> (col. 1056)

German and Austrian Jews forming the new Philharmonic

from: Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Israel, State of, vol. 9

<The German and Austrian Jews made an important contribution to the progress of the yishuv [[Jews in Palestine before 1948]]. They constituted the first large-scale influx fromwestern and Central Europe, and their skills and experience raised business standards and improved urban amenities. A relatively high proportion of them practiced medicine or one of the other professions, and they provided a majority of the musicians who formed the new Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a considerable part of its audiences.> (col. 531)

[[Arab voices about Israel Philharmonic?
There is no indication what the Arabs said about the foundation of a symphony orchestra in the desert of Tel Aviv, but it can be admitted that they saw the Jewish invasion wave which would never stop, and the Arabs were condemned to be the slaves of the arrogant, white Jews of Ashkenazim. This should not be good...]]

Sources: Huberman

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Bronislaw
                        Huberman, Vol. 8, col. 1055-1056
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Bronislaw Huberman, Vol. 8, col. 1055-1056

[[The violin posture of the left hand of Mr. Huberman with a buckling in the left wrist leads to a cramp of the wrist]].
                      violin posture of the left hand without buckling
                      the left wrist
Relaxed violin posture of the left hand without buckling the left wrist
(see: Sarasota Violin Academy, Sarasota, Florida)

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Photo sources

-- correct and relaxed violin poosture of the left hand: http://www.sarasotaviolinacademy.com/posture.asp