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Florizel von Reuter (1890 - 1985)

Florizel Reuter began learning the violin aged five and studied, from nine, with Max Bendix (concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Émile Sauret, César Thomson and Henri Marteau. He also became a protégé of Lyman J. Gage, who probably arranged the White House performances he gave for Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt in 1901. Following some debate as to whether it should be allowed, presumably because of his extremely young age, Reuter graduated from the Geneva Conservatoire when still only eleven.

Most of Reuter’s early career was spent performing and teaching in Europe, where he called himself ‘von Reuter’ to suggest a German aristocratic background. He made various solo recordings for Polydor and recorded chamber works with the second manifestation of the Strub String Quartet, often including pianist Elly Ney.

During the 1920s Reuter and his mother became interested in the occult; in 1928 he compiled The Psychic Experiences of a Musician (in Search of Truth), describing conversations with deceased performers and composers. He also claimed that while rehearsing particularly difficult Paganini études he was compelled to adopt entirely new fingerings, guided by an external intelligence.




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