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Summary Article: Menuhin, Yehudi, Baron Menuhin
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US-born violinist and conductor. His solo repertoire extended from Vivaldi to George Enescu. He recorded the Elgar Violin Concerto in 1932 with the composer conducting, and commissioned the Sonata for violin solo in 1944 from an ailing Bartók. He appeared in concert with sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and with jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. In March 1997 he was awarded Germany's highest honour, the Great Order of Merit. He first played in Berlin in 1928, and was the first Jewish artist to play with the Berlin Philharmonic after World War II. He was also noted for his humanitarian activities.

He made his debut with an orchestra at the age of 11 in New York. A child prodigy, he achieved great depth of interpretation, and was often accompanied on the piano by his sister Hephzibah (1921–1981). In 1959 he moved to London, becoming a British subject in 1985. He founded the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music, Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, in 1963.

Menuhin began studying the violin aged four, first with Sigmund Anker and then with Louis Persinger (1887–1966). At the age of seven he played the Mendelssohn violin concerto publicly in San Francisco, then went to Europe for further study with Adolf Busch and Enescu. He made his London debut in 1929 with the Brahms concerto. By 1934 he had completed the first of many world tours. He quickly became recognized as one of the world's outstanding musicians and virtuosi and in 1944 gave the first performance of Bartók's sonata for solo violin. Later in life he devoted less time to solo performance, and concentrated more on conducting (for example at the Bath Festival, 1959–69), in which sphere he has also attained eminence.


Menuhin, Yehudi, Baron Menuhin

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