Spalding, Albert, esteemed American violinist; b. Chicago, Aug. 15, 1888; d. N.Y., May 26, 1953. He studied violin with Ulpiano Chiti in Florence and with Juan Buitrago in N.Y. before entering the Bologna Cons. at the age of 14; subsequently received further violin training from Augustin Lefort at the Paris Cons., and studied composition with Antonio Scontrino in Florence. He made his public debut in Paris on June 6, 1905, and his American debut as a soloist with the N.Y. Sym. Orch. on Nov. 8, 1908. Beginning in 1919, he made annual tours of the U.S. and acquired the reputation of a fine artist, even though not necessarily a contagiously flamboyant one. He also made appearances in Europe. On June 20, 1950, he gave his farewell performance in N.Y. In 1926 he was elected to the National Inst. of Arts and Letters and in 1937 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He gave the U.S. premieres of the violin concertos of Dohnanyi, Elgar, and Barber. His own works include an orch. suite, 2 violin concertos, a String Quartet, a Violin Sonata, various violin pieces, songs, and piano pieces. He publ, an autobiography, Rise to Follow (N.Y., 1943), and a fictionalized biography of Tartini, A Fiddle, a Sword, and a Lady (N.Y, 1953).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire