ELMAN, MISCHA (1891–1967), violinist. Born at Talnoye, near Kiev, Elman received his first violin lessons from his father Saul, who later wrote a book entitled Memoirs of Mischa Elman's Father (1933). At the age of six he was taken to the Odessa Music Academy. In 1902 he was accepted in Leopold *Auer's class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, having received a permit of residence by Imperial assent, since Jews were not allowed to live in that city. As a youth he made sensational debuts in St. Petersburg and Berlin (1904), in London (1905), and in New York (1908). Thereafter he made the United States his home, but traveled widely. His playing, remarkable for its sweet intonation as well as technical perfection, gave rise to the phrase "the Elman tone." Besides many transcriptions for violin, he composed several works, including a light opera.
M. Carpenter, Mischa Elman and Joseph Szigeti (1955); Grove's Dict.
[Dora Leah Sowden]
Mischa Elman (mĬsh´ə ĕl´mən), 1891–1967, Russian-American violinist, b. Kiev. He studied in St. Petersburg with Leopold Auer, and first gained prominence in Berlin at the age of 13. After his American debut in New York City (1908) he toured throughout the world, receiving great acclaim everywhere. He became a U.S. citizen in 1923.