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Kolisch, Rudolf

Kolisch, Rudolf (b Klamm am Semmering, 1896; d Watertown, Mass., 1978). Amer. violinist of Austrian birth. After childhood injury, used bow in left hand. Formed Kolisch Qt. 1922, which toured Europe, Africa, and USA where its members settled in 1935. Played standard repertory from memory and championed works by Schoenberg ( Kolisch's brother-in-law after 1924), Berg, and Webern. Gave f.ps. of Schoenberg's 3rd and 4th str. qts. (1927 and 1937), Berg's Lyric Suite (1927), Webern's str. trio (1928) and str. qt. (1938), Bartók's 5th str. qt. (1935) and 6th str. qt. (1941). Quartet disbanded 1941. Kolisch led Pro Arte Qt. from 1942 and taught at Univ. of Wisconsin 1944–67.

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Semmering

Semmering (zĕm´ərĬng), scenic resort region of the Eastern Alps, E Austria. The Alps there are crossed by the Semmering Pass, 3,215 ft (980 m) high and 275 ft (84 m) long. Beneath it runs the first mountain railroad in the world (built 1848–54). It passes through 15 tunnels and over 16 viaducts.

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Kolisch, Rudolf

KOLISCH, RUDOLF

KOLISCH, RUDOLF (1896–1978), violinist. Born in Klamm, Austria, Kolisch studied at Vienna with Otakar Ševčik (violin) and Arnold *Schoenberg (composition), and in 1922 founded the Kolisch String Quartet, which existed until 1939 and was the first such group to perform from memory. He promoted the works of modern composers, particularly those of Schoenberg and his circle. Kolisch emigrated to the United States in 1940 and in 1942 became the leader of the Pro Arte Quartet. He was one of the few left-handed concert violinists. His sister Gertrud was Schoenberg's second wife.

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Kolisch, Rudolf

Kolisch, Rudolf

Kolisch, Rudolf, Austrian-born American violinist; b. Klamm am Semmering, July 20, 1896; d. Watertown, Mass., Aug. 1, 1978. He began training in childhood. After sustaining an injury to his left hand, he learned to hold his violin with his right hand and the bow with his left. He continued his studies at the Vienna Academy of Music and the Univ. of Vienna (graduated, 1913), and took courses with Ševčcik (violin) andSchreker and Schoenberg (theory and composition). In 1922 he organized the Kolisch Quartet, which systematically presented works by modern composers. It was the first string quartet to perform works from the standard repertoire from memory. In 1935 he went to the U.S.; after his quartet disbanded (1939), he became 1st violin of the Pro Arte Quartet (1942). He taught at the Univ. of Wise. (1944–67), and served as artist-inresidence and head of the chamber music dept. of the New England Cons, of Music in Boston.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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