I had never heard of Bronislav Gimpel but in enjoying his beautiful violin playing, I found quiet but intense beauty. He was from " Lvov, Austria-Hungary, part of Polish Galicia (now Lviv, Ukraine), to a family of Jewish origin. Gimpel's older brother, Jakob Gimpel, was a noted concert pianist who also recorded music for motion pictures."
"Bronislav Gimpel started piano and violin lessons with his father at the age of five. At the age of eight, he studied with Moritz Wolfstahl at the Lwów Conservatory. After 1922 he continued his studies with Robert Pollack at the Vienna Conservatory. At the age of fourteen, he played the Goldmark Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic. A year later, an extended concert tour in Italy resulted in a succession of triumphs of historic proportion, with command performances before King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Pope Pius XI, and invitations to play on Paganini's famous Guarneri and to perform at the grave of the legendary virtuoso. Tours of South America and Europe followed. In 1930 he attended the Berlin Hochschule für Musik under the guidance of Prof. Carl Flesch. Thereafter he continued his solo career while holding the lead posts in Königsberg and Göteborg."
"Gimpel immigrated to the United States in 1937. The outbreak of the War brought Gimpel to Los Angeles and to the concertmastership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 to the end of the war, Gimpel resumed his solo career in Europe, where he was received, once again, with great acclaim. In 1963, he and Władysław Szpilman formed "The Warsaw Piano Quintet". His recording of Dvorak's Violin Concerto is considered one of the best interpretations of this concerto.
In 1967 Gimpel accepted a professorship at the University of Connecticut. From 1973 Gimpel was a Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. In this period of time he resumed his solo concert appearances in Europe, the United States and South America.
Gimpel died in Los Angeles". (History courtesy of Wikipedia)
Wkadyslaw Szpilman wrote a memoir of his survival in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto and the Holocaust during Hitler's Occupation which was titled "The Pianist" which led to Roman Polanski's film of the same name. Whatever one may or may not think of Polanski personally, "The Pianist" was a
poignant, potent, and slicing film like Schindlers List. Can you imagine Gimpel and Szpilman alone on a stage in pre-war concert. Must have been
If you enjoy Gimpel's playing and that fine Old World sound, then also check out Michael Rabin
In retirement now, I finally have the time to pursue learning about and listening to classical and big band music. It has become a joy for me. When I was small; one side of my family was of Eastern European Jewish Heritage (Poland, Austria, and Bohemia) and I can remember some of their culture - music, food, humor, and stories and of course alot about Hitler and the Holocaust while the other side spoke alot about Pearl Harbor and the War in the Pacific and Big Bands. Add in the depression, and you have an early baby boomer's childhood years.
It's nice to go back and enjoy the music and memories as a reprieve from 2012 and the Obama vs Romney Melodrama as the Middle East continues it's centuries old effort to thwart the Infidels.