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Schneider, (Abraham) Alexander

Schneider, (Abraham) Alexander (b Vilnius, 1908; d Manhattan, 1993). Russ.-born violinist and conductor (Amer. cit.). Leader, Frankfurt Museum Soc. Orch. 1925–32. 2nd vn. Budapest Qt. 1932–44, and 1955–67 (when it disbanded). Settled USA 1938. Helped Casals to found Prades Fest. 1950 and Casals Fest., Puerto Rico, 1957. Led his own str. qt. from 1952. Founded Brandenburg Players, 1972. Active as a teacher and director of seminars. Member of several chamber ens. Cond. Chamber Orch. of Europe in London 1991. Wrote autobiography, Sasha: a Musician's Life (NY, 1988).

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Schneider, (Johann Christian) Friedrich

Schneider, (Johann Christian) Friedrich (b Alt-Waltersdorf, 1786; d Dessau, 1853). Ger. composer, conductor, organist, and teacher. Org., St Thomas's, Leipzig, from 1812; court cond. Dessau from 1821. Cond. of many Ger. choral fests. Wrote 16 oratorios, 7 operas, 23 syms., many choruses and songs, 7 pf. concs., much church and chamber mus. His perf. of Beethoven's 5th pf. conc. in Leipzig, in Dec. 1810 is thought to have been work's f.p.

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Schneider, (Abraham) Alexander

Schneider, (Abraham) Alexander

Schneider, (Abraham) Alexander, Russian-born American violinist, conductor, and teacher; b. Vilnius, Oct. 21, 1908; d. N.Y., Feb. 2, 1993. He enrolled in the Vilnius Cons. at 10 and in the Frankfurt an Main Hochschule für Musik at 16; at the latter he studied violin with Adolf Rebner; later took lessons with Carl Flesch in Berlin. While still in his teens, he became concertmaster of the Frankfurt am Main Museumgesellschaft Orch.; was also active in Saarbrücken and Hamburg. In 1932 he became second violinist in the Budapest Quartet, with which he toured widely. He settled in the U.S. in 1938, and remained with the Budapest Quartet until 1944; then played in the Albeneri Trio and the N.Y. Quartet, and also conducted chamber orch. concerts. In 1945 he received the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal for eminent services to chamber music. In 1950 he persuaded Casals to come out of retirement and honor the 200th anniversary of Bach’s death with a festival in Prades; he continued to work with Casals in subsequent years, organizing the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1957. He founded his own quartet in 1952, and was again a member of the Budapest Quartet from 1955 until it disbanded in 1967. In later years he gave increasing attention to conducting, leading both chamber groups and major orchs.; he was also active as a teacher. In 1988 he received a Kennedy Center Honor for his services to music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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