Mischa Mischakoff: Journeys of a Concertmaster by Anne Mischakoff Heiles
Mischa Mischakoff, widely considered the world's finest concertmaster in the mid-twentieth century and called "Toscanini's third hand" by critics and conductors, enjoyed a seven-decade career in the first chair. This biography by his daughter, also containing many passages in his own words, describes that career in Russia, Poland, and the top orchestras of America. It highlights as well the personal traits and experiences that made Mischakoff so outstanding as a concertmaster and that sustained him through revolutions, wars, and the politics of the world of music. The memoir is enlivened by the recollections of his family and students and some hundred photographs of Mischakoff and the conductors and musicians with whom he worked. Two cadenzas written for him by Arturo Toscanini, as well as Mischakoff's own markings for a violin solo in Strauss's Ein Heldenleben, are published here for the first time. An accompanying CD features excerpts of Mischakoff's playing in his divergent roles as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and concertmaster.
About the Author
Anne Mischakoff Heiles has been on the faculties of Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, California State University at Fresno, and the University of the Pacific, teaching viola and music history. As a violist she has been a member of the Detroit Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, and other orchestras, and a frequent substitute in the Chicago Symphony. A past national president of the American String Teachers Association, she is the author of Khandoshkin and the Beginning of Russian String Music (UMI Press) and a large number of articles. She earned a B.A. magna cum laude in music history at Smith College, an M.A. at the University of Iowa, and a D.M.A. at the University of Illinois.
DMM/SM 46 / 337p / 0-89990-131-X / Paperback / 2006 / $52.00
“Anyone with an interest in the development of the orchestral life will enjoy this fascinating account of the life and career of one of the most celebrated concertmasters of the last century, intertwined with the careers of most of the major conductors and string soloists, the birth and growth of some of our finest orchestras, and the development and expansion of radio and television. All this is lovingly, though not sentimentally, told by his daughter against the background of two world wars, the Russian revolution, and the Great Depression.”
American String Teacher
“warm and painstakingly researched biography…Includes many photographs and an enticing CD of rare recordings.”
“interesting, well organized and authoritative biography.”
American Record Guide
“strikes the perfect balance between biographical objectivity and, where appropriate, intimate familiarity…A wonderful book that is more than a biography…Mischakoff Heiles also limns what is largely a musical history of the United States during the 20th century: the leading orchestras, important conductors, and major music festivals…Numerous amusing anecdotes enliven the story.”
“reads like a who’s who of twentieth-century musical life in Russia and the United States…Intriguing background material and details about rehearsals, contracts, and interactions between musicians.”
“loving biography…painstakingly assembled”