Item AB/907 - Autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edvard Grieg

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GB GB1179 AB-AB/907

Title

Autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edvard Grieg

Date(s)

  • [20th cent] (Creation)

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1 item, 4 folios

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(1851-1929)

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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The Brodskys accompanied by two pupils, Anton Maaskoff and Alfred Barker, and Anna's niece, Nina, have just visited Edvard and Nina Grieg at Troldhaugen. Adolph Brodsky has been delighted to receive Edvard Grieg's letter and is pleased at the prospect of the completed string quartet. Unfortunately Brodsky has not been practising. He has voluntarily undertaken the cure for 3 weeks and when he has lost 10 pounds in weight he will return fresh to fiddle playing. In a postscript, Brodsky mentions that Halvorsen made a very good impression on him. Brodsky mentions his works on Schumann against whom a feud has developed from Wagner. Brodsky cannot understand it and he himself not only admires but also loves Schumann. Anna Brodsky writes a few lines to Nina Grieg and is delighted to have received Grieg's lieder. Anna recalls the last evening at Troldhaugen when Nina sang Grieg's songs. Anna recounts the journey: as far as Berlin all was well; then Ninotshka became ill with great pains in her body and they had to call for the doctor. Nina lay in bed for ten days. When she improved, Adolph and the children went on to Marienbad while Anna remained behind to care for Nina until she was well enough to travel. Now she is again in bed but cheers up when Anna speaks of Troldhaugen. Anna's brother comes in a few days and that may help Ninotshka. The children are practising diligently. Adolph gets up daily at six o'clock, takes the waters, eats very little, walks a lot and in the first week, lost four and a half pounds. Sinding came with his wife, a rather quiet and characterless person from first impressions. He was in excellent spirits and spoke again and again of the olden days with a warmth which disturbed Anna. She likes him very much and was glad to see him again. Anna now wonders if Troldhaugen was just a happy dream. The original is dated 30 Aug 1906, and it is unclear when this photocopy was made.

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