A Biographical Sketch

This small biography with some interesting “Continental quotes” was published in England as a small booklet, as well as in The Violin Times, November 1904.

The Neue Freie Presse interestingly compares Huberman to Joachim, a violinist who had similarities in style to Huberman.

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A Biographical Sketch
and some
Continental Press Notices
Bronislaw Hubermann

HIS first appearance in public, when yet a child, only twelve years of age, took place at Mme. Adelina Patti’s farewell concert in Vienna on the 12th of January, 1895. Nothing was known about him, no reputation preceded him to Vienna. But the moment he appeared on the platform, and laid his bow on the strings, there arose from the instrument an exquisite melody, and this virtuoso of twelve years attacked the most trying difficulties of technique, which seemed as child’s play under his fingers. “We had come,” wrote M. Hanslick (the famous musical critic and professor of aesthetics in the University), on the following day, “to salute a star that was about to disappear, and we experienced the agreeable surprise of seeing a new star arise on the horizon.”
This young violinist, who had just made so sensational a debut, is no other than Bronislaw Hubermann. Born in Warsaw on 19th of September, 1882, Hubermann studied at first with Isidore Lotto, an excellent master, formerly a pupil at the Paris Conservatoire, where he carried away in Massart’s class the first prize for violin playing.

At the age of ten Hubermann played in public, at Warsaw, a Concerto by Spohr, with such success that his parents were advised to take the child to Berlin in order that Joachim might hear him. As soon as he heard him, Joachim declared that he had never in his whole life met with such precocious and developed talent, and, as a proof of his admiration, the great master agreed to superintend the studies of this very youthful pupil.

After having studied for some time in Berlin, Hubermann came to Paris, and it was under the auspices of the Figaro that he first appeared in the course of the month of February 1894. We had arranged a reception in honour of this child prodigy, and many of our friends can still recall the impression of high artistic pleasure which he created. Next day we could without fear predict for him the most brilliant career. Infact, since the famous concert at Vienna, he attained success after success, proceeding through Austria, Germany, Russia and America – everywhere feted and everywhere acclaimed. He counts amongst his greatest admirers the Queen of Romania (Carmen Sylva) and the Emperor Francis Joseph, who presented him with an exceedingly fine violin. In Vienna he had to give a series of twelve concerts after his sensational debut, and at the New York Opera House he gave fourteen. These details and figures are strictly accurate, and for those who know the perils which virtuosi run, they speak more eloquently than mere words of praise.

Returning to Europe, Hubermann was wise enough to discontinue his tours. For three years nothing was heard of him. He was working hard in retirement, living in the atmosphere of the great masters, so that when he re-appeared in the course of last year with ripened talents he made a still greater sensation than he evoked at the time of his debut. In Vienna he was obliged to give ten concerts in succession, in Milan he gave six, in Turin seven, and the Italian newspapers inform us that in the last-named city the public waited for the young virtuoso at the door in order to carry him to his hotel. In Genoa, after giving four concerts, the Municipality issued invitations to a fete, and did him the high honour of asking him to play on Paganini’s celebrated violin, which is carefully preserved in the town museum, and which had not been taken out of its glass case since the day when Sivori played it at the solemn festivals in commemoration of the Union of the Italian States.

Such is the career of this very young violinist.

“Only a genius plays like that,” wrote Anton Rubinstein in Hubermann’s autograph album after his concert in October, 1892.

“Young Hubermann is a real born musician,” said Ambroise Thomas after the concert at the Paris Conservatoire in January, 1893.

Brahms dedicated the manuscript of his Violin Concerto as follows :- “To the genial artist, Bronislaw Hubermann, in friendly remembrance of your highly pleased and grateful listener.”

A dedication by Anton Dvorak on the Symphony of the “New World” - “In friendly remembrance of the little, though great artist, B. Hubermann.”

The art of M. Hubermann makes a varied impression: it does not merely charm, it surprises, it stirs one deeply. ...Here is a supreme tour de force. How can the human fingers accomplish on violin strings this miracle of dexterity in the expression of a musical idea? How is such fingering possible, and by what extraordinary skill are these feats made possible for the ear of the listener? That is what I cannot understand. (Le Figaro).

...The impression, which the artist produced, was deep. In the execution of classical music this genius reminds one of Joachim in his freshest and most brilliant days. (Neue Freie Presse).

...Since the days of Joachim and Wilhelmj, one has seldom or never heard the first movement of Beethoven’s Concerto played so majestically. (Die Zeit).

…How exquisitely did Huberman bring out on the G string the tones of the adagio of Brahms’ Sonata. A sweet feminine voice seemed to arise from the instrument. (Neues Wiener Tagbtatt).

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Bronislaw Hubermann