Cover image for A fiddler's tale : how Hollywood and Vivaldi discovered me
A fiddler's tale : how Hollywood and Vivaldi discovered me
Kaufman, Louis, 1905-1994.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 462 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm + 1 audio disc (4 3/4 in.)
Bucharest to Portland and back -- I become a violinist -- New York and Kneisel -- More Kneisel--Auer--graduation--chamber music -- The Musical Art Quartet is launched : I become an art collector -- The Musical Art Quartet -- In Baltimore and Capri with the Musical Art Quartet -- Paris! -- Italian concerts : encore Paris -- "The real thing" : romance and Annette -- Together in Europe : our honeymoon -- Hometown triumph and California here we come! -- The goal : Los Angeles -- Hollywood : the golden years -- Another aspect of Hollywood--art and music : William Grant Still--Darius Milhaud -- Bernard Herrmann--another view : other friends, Anthony Collins--Herrmann's rebirth and apotheosis -- Concert opportunities--Works Progress Administration : music--art--theater--trail-blazing -- Vivaldi discovers me--we meet Francis Poulenc--historic recordings -- En route to France via Honolulu -- En route to Venice via Zurich--after visiting Poulenc -- Unfinished business : meeting Malipiero -- Brussels con moto : Paris recordings--arrival in Brussels--fateful meeting with Paul Collaer -- More Poulenc, more Brussels : Paris premiere of Il cimento dell'armonica e dell'invenzione -- Introducing Vivaldi to America : Opus 9 reveals another masterpiece--the Paris premier of La cetra -- Unexpected North African tour : Paries friends -- We meet Samuel Barber in San Francisco--drama in Holland : friendships with artists -- South American adventures -- Utrecht recordings--war crimes--search for Spohr -- Paris--the survivor--Maryan -- London adventures in music and art -- Northern exposure -- Miracle in Milan : recording in Paris -- Return to Los Angeles : Korngold Memorial Concert -- Adventures behind the iron curtain -- Recordings at last--the Lebduska mystery -- Cousin Mico Kaufman, sculptor -- The dybbuk--a devil to produce -- From Sicily to Tahiti -- Hazardous travel -- Postscript / by Annette Kaufman.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML418.K28 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This fascinating memoir, written by one of the greatest American violinists of the twentieth century, recounts an extraordinary life in music.
    Once called by the New York Times "a violinist's violinist and a musician's musician," Louis Kaufman was born in 1905 in Portland, Oregon. He studied violin with Franz Kneisl at New York's Institute of Musical Art. He was the original violist of the Musical Art Quartet (1926-1933) and won the Naumburg Award in 1928, the year of his American solo recital debut in New York's Town Hall.
    During these early years, he played chamber music with Pablo Casals, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Efrem Zimbalist, among others. After performing the violin solos for Ernst Lubitsch's 1934 film The Merry Widow , Kaufman became the most sought after violin soloist in Hollywood, playing in some 500 films, including Casablanca , Gone with the Wind , The Diary of Anne Frank , Wuthering Heights , The Grapes of Wrath , and Spartacus . He worked closely with Robert Russell Bennett, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Mikl#65533;s R#65533;zsa, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and Victor Young.     
    Extraordinary as it seems today, Kaufman was largely responsible for bringing the once-forgotten music of Antonio Vivaldi to its current popularity worldwide among both classical musicians and the general population of music lovers.
    The book includes a music CD with Kaufman's performances of Vivaldi's Concerto 2 of op. 9 , Havanaise by Camille Saint Sa#65533;ns, Nocturne for Violin and Piano by Aaron Copland, Much Ado about Nothing Suite for violin and piano by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Jerome Kern, among other favorites.

Author Notes

Louis Kaufman (1905-1994) was probably the most-recorded violinist in history, with recordings of more than one hundred major concert works and hundreds of film soundtracks to his credit. Annette Kaufman (1914-2016), a pianist, shared Louis's passion for music, art, and theater as they traveled the globe on performance tours. She carried forward their joint vision in the completion of this book and in her support for the arts.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Louis Kaufman (1905-94) is probably best remembered today as the lead violinist on the soundtrack of hundreds of movies, including Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, and The Grapes of Wrath. His memoir, lovingly crafted with his pianist wife, Annette, belies its rather pompous subtitle; in fact, the Kaufmans good-humoredly show how to make positives out of negatives and are careful when criticizing others. From his humble beginnings as a Romanian Jewish immigrant in Portland, OR, to recording film scores with Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, and Franz Waxman, Kaufman comes across as a confident yet surprisingly unaffected performer and gentleman. In 1948, he was one of the first to record Antonio Vivaldi's perennial favorite The Four Seasons and did much to bring the music of that composer and others to the public's attention. He discusses his chamber music and Works Progress Administration Music Project experiences and the couple's time touring the world with many amusing anecdotes. The enchanting photographs, contemporary reviews, and filmography are decided assets, while a bit more in-depth discussion of certain topics would have made an even better whole. Recommended for all libraries. (Index, compact disc, and discography not available for review.)-Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.