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Nathan Milstein Nathan Milstein

Birth: December 31, 1904 in Odessa

Death: December 21, 1992 in London, United Kingdom

Nationality: American

Occupation: violinist

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Nathan Milstein

The Flying Inkpot: The Story of Nathan Milstein

Milstein, Nathan (Mironovich), celebrated Russian-born American violinist; b. Odessa, Dec. 31, 1904; d. London, Dec. 21, 1992.

His father was a well-to-do merchant in woolen goods, and his mother was an amateur violinist who gave him his first lessons. He then began to study with Stoliarsky in Odessa, remaining under his tutelage until 1914. He then went to St. Petersburg, where he entered Auer's class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory (1915-17). He began his concert career in 1919, with his sister as piano accompanist. In Kiev he met Horowitz, and they began giving duo recitals in 1921; later they were joined by Piatigorsky, and organized a trio. In 1925 Milstein went to Berlin and then to Brussels, where he met Ysaÿe, who encouraged him in his career. He gave several recitals in Paris, then proceeded to South America. On Oct. 28, 1929, he made his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Stokowski. In 1942 he became a naturalized American citizen. After the end of World War II in 1945, Milstein appeared regularly in all of the principal music centers of the world. He performed with most of the great orchestras and gave numerous recitals. He celebrated the 50th anniversary of his American debut in 1979 by giving a number of solo recitals and appearing as soloist with American orchestras. As an avocation, he began painting and drawing, arts in which he achieved a certain degree of self-satisfaction. He also engaged in teaching; held master classes at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y., and also in Zürich. Milstein was renowned for his technical virtuosity and musical integrity. He composed a number of violin pieces, including "Paganiniana" (1954); also prepared cadenzas for the violin concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. His autobiography was published as FROM RUSSIA TO THE WEST (N.Y., 1990).

Further Readings
B. Gavoty, N. M. (Geneva, 1956).

Source: "Nathan Mironovich Milstein." BAKER'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS®, Centennial Edition. Nicolas Slonimsky, Editor Emeritus. Schirmer, 2001. Reprinted by permission of The Gale Group.

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