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Ossy Renardy (1920 - 1953)

Ossy Renardy did not receive the usual attention bestowed upon contemporary middle-European musicians; mostly self-taught, he spent his youth touring until he was ‘discovered’ in Vienna. There he made his professional début aged thirteen and at fourteen was hired by conductor Victor de Sabata as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. By then he had changed his name from Oskar Reiss to Ossy Renardy, which his manager thought would have more public appeal.

The young Renardy secured his fame when he played all twenty-four of the Paganini Caprices (in David’s violin and piano arrangement) in his Carnegie Hall début, aged eighteen. He then made the first complete recording of the Caprices for RCA Victor in 1940 with Walter Robert at the piano and recorded the whole set again with Eugene Helmer in 1950 for the low-budget Remington Records.

Following his much-talked-about début Renardy toured America extensively. He took US citizenship and joined the US Army in 1942. After the war he prepared to reappear in public by spending two years studying in New York with Theodore and Alice Pashkus and by 1948 was performing with all the major orchestras of North America, Europe and Israel.




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