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Franko, Sam

Franko, Sam

Franko, Sam, American violinist, brother of Nahan Franko; b. New Orleans, Jan. 20, 1857; d. N.Y., May 6, 1937 (from a skull fracture resulting from a fall). He studied in Berlin with Joachim, Heinrich de Ahna, and Eduard Rappoldi. Returning to the U.S. in 1880, he joined the Theodore Thomas Orch. in N.Y., and was its concertmaster from 1884 to 1891. In 1883 he toured the U.S. and Canada as a soloist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club of Boston. In order to prove that preju-dice against native orch. players was unfounded, he organized in 1894 the American Sym. Orch., using 65 American-born performers; this orch. was later used for his Concerts of Old Music (1900–1909). In 1910 he went to Berlin and taught at the Stern Cons. He then returned to N.Y. in 1915, where he remained for the rest of his life. He publ. various works for piano, including Album Leaf (1889) and Viennese Silhouettes (6 waltzes, 1928), as well as several violin pieces and practical arrangements for violin and piano. His memoirs were publ. posth. under the title Chords and Discords (N.Y., 1938).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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