Item AB/927 - Photocopy of an autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edward Elgar

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GB GB1179 AB-AB/927


Photocopy of an autograph letter signed from Adolph Brodsky to Edward Elgar


  • [20th cent] (Creation)

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1 item, 2 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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Adolph Brodsky is very keen to go to the private performance of Elgar's Quartet and Quintet and wonders if he and his wife could gain admission to it. Brodsky will play Elgar's sonata at a Brodsky Quartet Concert next season. Brodsky writes that he is not a record hunter and hearing Elgar's works played by others saves him a great deal of brain work. When Brodsky heard Kreisler play Elgar's Concerto he used the experience for teaching purposes. Brodsky taught it to Anton Maaskoff, Naum Blinder, Alfred Barker and Helena Kontorovitch. Brodsky mentions that he never tires of the concerto which has almost become "his dayly prayer". Brodsky asks Elgar to reply by return of post so that he can arrange for a room in London. He ends with Easter greetings to the Elgars. The original letter is dated 18 Apr 1919, and it is unclear when this photocopy was made.

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