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Arthur Fiedler (1894 - 1979)

Arthur Fiedler’s family background was firmly rooted in the Central European musical tradition. His father, Emanuel Fiedler, was an Austrian-born violinist who played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra for twenty-five years and was a member of the Kneisal String Quartet; his mother was a gifted pianist and musician, who gave Arthur his first piano lessons. He was educated in Boston until his father took the family back to Austria in 1910; in Vienna and Berlin Arthur worked in publishing houses and then entered the Berlin High School for Music, where he studied violin, piano and conducting, directing an orchestra for the first time when he was seventeen years old. At the outbreak of World War I Fiedler returned to Boston and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a member of the second violins in 1915, later changing to the viola section; he also played in the orchestra as a pianist, organist, and percussionist and was a member of the orchestra when it made its first sound recordings in 1917 under Karl Muck. Fiedler served in the United States army in 1918, later returning to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and working also as an accompanist and a coach.



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