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Bronislaw Gimpel (1911 - 1979)

After beginning his mature studies at the Vienna Conservatory, Jewish violinist Bronislaw Gimpel studied for a short while in Berlin with Carl Flesch who advised that he get some orchestral experience; Gimpel took a post as leader of the second violins in Königsberg, later becoming concertmaster of Sweden’s Gothenburg orchestra and subsequently the Los Angeles Philharmonic. When he competed in the 1935 Wieniawski Competition David Oistrakh described him as ‘a wonderful violinist with wide international experience’, but he came only ninth.

After the war, Gimpel resumed playing as concertmaster of the ABC Radio Symphony in New York and also as a soloist around Europe. The formation in 1962 of the Warsaw Piano Quintet brought worldwide recognition. On the Quartet’s first tour of America in 1967 Gimpel was appointed to the University of Connecticut. He resigned in 1973, taking up a post at the Royal Northern College of Music, England, which he held until 1978. Even then he was unable to settle, returning to Europe for a concert tour and then travelling to Venezuela, where he gave a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto which he himself described as one of the finest of his life. He died in his sleep shortly after his return to Los Angeles, only a few days before a scheduled recital with his pianist brother Jakob.




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