Item AB/904 - Photocopy of an autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edvard Grieg

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GB GB1179 AB-AB/904


Photocopy of an autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edvard Grieg


  • [20th cent] (Creation)

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1 item, 5 folios

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Biographical history

Adolph Brodsky was born in 1851 in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov. At the age of not quite five, he began to play the violin and later became a pupil of Hellmesberger at the Vienna Conservatoire. In 1880 he married Anna Tskadowska in Sebastopol in the Crimea. The following year Brodsky became the first person to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, declared unplayable by Leopold Auer to whom the original dedication was made. From 1883 to 1891 Brodsky taught at the Leipzig Conservatoire and established the Brodsky Quartet. In October 1891 Adolph and Anna Brodsky sailed for New York . After a very strenuous three years as concertmaster and soloist with the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch, Brodsky decided to return to Europe. When in Berlin, Adolph Brodsky received a letter from Sir Charles Hallé inviting him to teach at the recently founded Royal Manchester College of Music and to lead the Hallé Orchestra. Although Brodsky received offers of work from St. Petersburg, Berlin and Cologne and despite his wife's misgivings, Brodsky accepted the Manchester post. Within weeks of Brodsky's arrival in Manchester in 1895, Hallé died and Brodsky took over as principal of the College, a position which he held until his death in 1929.

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This photocopy is almost completely illegible and a note in Norwegian to this effect has been attached. In this letter to "Lieber Freund", Edvard Grieg, occasional dates [31 July] and London are legible. Anna Brodsky has added a note of thanks for the book illustrated with interesting photographs. Anna can scarcely write because of the tragic events in Russia. Nina mentions sending photographs from the previous summer at Christmas. Adolph looks quite different without his moustache. [A translation by I.E. Stotvig of an article by Oystein Gaukstad entitled "Edvard Grieg and Adolph Brodsky" in Norwegian Music Magazine summarises this letter: Brodsky answers on the 18th May that he had done everything to cancel the concert arrangements, but in vain. However, he can manage a short visit on the 11th-18th June. "We celebrated our silver anniversary quietly in Southport {a port near Manchester}. We were only the two of us. We went out for walks and I read in Russian "A noble nest" by Turgenev for my wife. [On their return home they received flowers, presents and telegrams. At the orchestra class, they received an ovation with speeches and presents from the students.] The original is dated 18 May 1905, and it is unclear when this photocopy was made.

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