Nathan Mironovich Milstein
He had a reputation as one of the leading violinists in the 20th century. He was significantly acclaimed for his interpretations of J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied violin sonatas and works from the Romantic repertoire. Milstein gave concerts throughout the Soviet Union, frequently performing in joint recitals with the pianist Vladimir Horowitz. In 1925 he moved to Paris, where he toured Europe annually from 1927 until World War II, resuming his touring in 1947.
Later in life, he moved to the United States, becoming a citizen and making his U.S. debut in 1929 as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He toured extensively in the United States and Canada, recording prolifically and earning rave reviews.
A violinist born in 1901 in Russia made his United States debut at Carnegie Hall in 1917 and was an instant sensation. He recorded several solos, chamber, and concerto recordings with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The Classical Music magazine informs us that the moment Jascha became famous was still in his teens, when Heifetz appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, playing Tchaikovsky under the direction of Arthur Nikisch. The normally restrained Nikisch led an uproar of applause—that onlookers said he abetted from the podium.
Kreisler made his American debut at Steinway Hall in November 1888. Although the Vienna Philharmonic initially turned him down, he performed with the Berlin Philharmonic in a concert that gave him greater acclaim. In addition to a violin concerto, he wrote several solos and encores, including Liebesfreud and Liebesleid. He also wrote cadenzas for other composers’ violin concertos, including Beethoven’s, Brahms’s, Mozart’s, Viotti’s, and Paganini’s.
Pablo de Sarasate
In 1860 Pablo de Sarasate made his debut as a violinist. He had been studying music since childhood and was well-liked by the public. He toured Europe, North America, and South America during the rest of his life. Late 19th century composers deemed him a favorite, and his influence was so great that even music critic and playwright George Bernard Shaw dedicated a piece to him.
According to All Music, Sarasate’s 57 compositions were the majority of which were forgotten by the time of his death; they were fashioned in a style that reached little beyond its own time. The Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20, remains an indispensable item in the violinist’s repertory, however, and his splashy Spanish Dances, Opp. 21-23 and 26 still furnish enjoyable diversions in the course of many a violin recital.