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Fritz Kreisler, a unique musician from Vienna

Fritz Kreisler, the world's most famous Viennese violinist and composer of the 20th century, had an impressive life story. The Vienna Fritz Kreisler Society, that hosts the 10th Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna in 2022, is headed by the former rector of the Vienna University of Music and famous violin teacher CV DDr. hc Michael Frischenschlager headed. Through a jury contact at CIMA, Central International Music Academy, Daniel Auner was invited by Prof. Frischenschlager to assist the competition as a consultant and is now helping to organize the next competition in 2022.

"Fritz Kreisler has fascinated me since I was a child. I devoured his biography, his diary" Four Weeks in the Trenches - The War Story of a Violinist ", like his famous essay" Music and Life ", are extremely honest approaches to the heights and depths a musicians life. I named my first CD production, a special award from the MDR at the Dresden Violin Competition, "Caprice Viennois" and presented compositions of famous violinists side by side on it. "

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Fritz Kreisler was born on February 2, 1875. He is regarded as one of the greatest violinists of all time. He was loved by audiences and revered by critics and colleagues. His long and colourful life would be the most worthy nineteenth-century novel: an epic 
story about a man who was a link between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in music, went through two world wars, and lived up to the modern comforts of the 1960s. A wunderkind during his childhood (could read music when he was three), he became 
the youngest student admitted to the Vienna Conservatory in 1882. At ten he won the Conservatory gold medal and transferred to the Paris Conservatoire. In 1887, at 12, he was awarded the Conservatory’s Premier Prix. Kreisler’s United States debut was in New York City’s Steinway Hall on November 10, 1888. He continued to tour the U.S. until 1889. Back home, he applied and auditioned for a position in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra but was rejected. When he discovered that he did not receive a position in the orchestra, he thought of following his father’s profession and did two years’ medical training. In 1896 he definitively decided on music and began his career 
as a violin virtuoso. By World War I, in which he was conscripted, he served two tours in the Austrian army; he was wounded in the leg and reported killed. Later he wrote a book about his military experience in Russia. He recalled: “I envisaged myself operating on a 
patient in the morning, playing chess in the afternoon, giving a concert in the evening, and winning a battle at midnight.” 
As a child he met César Franck and Sigmund Freud. During his youth, he was part of Brahms’ outer circle. He used to perform with Sergej Rachmaninov, and got to know Bruch, Joachim, Wolf, Glazunov, Schoenberg. In addition to being an outstanding performer, Kreisler wrote a considerable amount of music, including pieces for violin and piano, violin solo, operettas, a string quartet, and many cadenzas. The Beethoven D major violin concerto cadenza is the most popular among violinists, and his music for violin remains a staple of the classical concert life today.
From 1924 Kreisler made his home in Berlin, but he left Germany in 1939. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, the French goverment conferred him the honorary citizenship. At the start of World War II, Kreisler moved to the United States, and in 1943 became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In 1941 he was hit by a truck and consequently spent several weeks in a coma, however, he recovered and continued to perform until 1950. Fritz Kreisler was a philanthropist throughout his whole life. During the World War II he generously helped war orphans and refugees and played charity concerts. He was known for his charitable contributions, he donated money, manuscripts, and with his 
talent and music he helped to create a better world. He died in January 1962

Prof. Michael Frischenschlager, President of the Fritz Kreisler Society

Fritz Kreisler's Unknown Works

"On a concert tour to Washington I visited the Library of Congress, and the librarian was kind enough to show me the collection that they inherited from Fritz Kreisler. In these boxes, in addition to Kreisler's letters, notes, marked voices of the most frequently performed works, were also some sketches as well as completed works, that never made it into a print, but were played as encores by the composer himself.

Another Fritz Kreisler enthusiast in Vienna is the pianist Andrea Linsbauer, with whom I am now working on a concept presenting Kreisler's unknown works. Details will be given shortly! "

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