Anyone Recognize These Violinists??

October 18, 2009 at 11:38 PM ·

Does anyone recognize these violinists?  This is not a quiz...I really don't know...they could just be amateurs but I'm not sure.   





Replies (29)

October 19, 2009 at 01:17 AM ·


the top one is -not- an amateur.  I jsut can`t for the life of me remeber where I saw someoen /thingsimilar. The perils of old age.  Sorry.




October 19, 2009 at 01:36 AM ·

I am sure I have seen the first photo before somewhere - in a book or on a DVD.

It is obviously a publicity photo (look at the music ornamentation around the photo studio name at the bottom) and I'm going to take a wild and probably totally wrong guess that it might be Fritz Kreisler on arrival for his first tour of the USA in 1888.   Just a guess, the kid definitely looks central European to me.

By the way, look at his nice bow hold and his left hand, and the way he gazes so confidently into the camera - there's a real "Ausstrahlung" there that the other 2 photos don't have.

October 19, 2009 at 03:54 AM ·

The top one was me. They made me dress like that! I said "I'm a big boy. I want to wear a tux." But nooooo.....

(Note to self: no more caffine before going to bed!)

Seriously - could the top one be the young Huberman? The expression looks similar.

October 19, 2009 at 03:57 AM ·


October 19, 2009 at 04:15 AM ·

I would guess the top one is Ysaye.

October 19, 2009 at 05:36 AM ·


there is some kind of connection beteen Newman and Ysaye is ther enot?



October 19, 2009 at 10:47 AM ·

I initially thought it might be Ysaye - but if you read his bio you can see that he didn't go to the USA til he was in his late 20s, and this is obviously a kid...

Actually I rather like the outfits boys wore in these days, it looks really smart and  much nicer than today's baggy tracksuit bottoms hanging half way down their backsides, accompanied by a grotesque pair of oversized trainers and of course wearing a hoodie...!  

October 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM ·

You mean you don't like the way Nigel Kennedy dresses? ;-)

October 19, 2009 at 12:58 PM ·

The bottom one gives a hint since it is signed "Vic."  Can anyohne think of an important violinist whose first name was Victor.  Nothing occurs to me offhand.

The second photo has "Bournemouth" at the bottom which suggests the person is English and from Bournemouth.  This clue does not help me but may help others.

The first photo was taken in NY.  Likely an American violinist, but I have no idea who.

October 19, 2009 at 01:46 PM ·

The 1st photo looks like someone I should know, also. The other two not so much. Not so many vintage photos include objects, though, so all 3 might very well have been professionals, maybe in an orchestra if not soloists of renown. You could try for more info by looking for museums/scholars who could date the outfits or the photos themselves. Limit the time frame more.  I'm very curious to know where you found theses photos. They are fascinating! Sue  PS The medal pinned so prominently on the 2nd player seems pretty significant. Can you make out any details w/a magnifying glass?

October 19, 2009 at 02:34 PM ·

I haven't a clue who any of these are, but I find the inscription on photo #3 very sweet.

I don't recognize the child in photo #1, but his set up is interesting.  Despite holding a violin that is too big for him, he has an enormous stretch in his left hand!  It looks like a tenth! 

His bow arm isn't sporting the old "Book In The Armpit" dropped elbow of the Joachim school.  His right hand is blurred on my screen, so I can't add anything helpful there.

He looks so unhappy, bless his heart.  Looking at his eyes, they remind me of Rachmaninoff's serious, melancholy gazes.

October 19, 2009 at 05:45 PM ·


the only connection is that newman wanted more than anything to study with/play for ysaye.  he played for ysaye just before ysaye died (making newman the last violinist ysaye heard).

there are some rumors that he is the illegitimate child of ysaye and queen of elisabeth, but these are false.  if you look at newmans father, you would see a startling father/son resemblance. 

however, never let the truth get in the way of a great story.


October 21, 2009 at 01:35 AM ·

The first picture could be Ginette Neveu, Maybe?

October 21, 2009 at 02:05 AM ·

Don't read a lot into facial expressions in vintage photos. The subjects had to hold completely still for photos, not like recent "snap-shots." Ditto the young person w/a big violin. There just weren't all that many fractionals, so kids learned to play on full-sizes, and gradually grew into it. Think of little Suzuki's piano students today. Also, the subject of the 1st photo could easily be eastern European, the men of which heritage still often have short, square, roundish body shapes. But managed very well to play the violin. :)  Sue

October 21, 2009 at 03:41 AM ·

Could the middle one be Sarasate?

October 21, 2009 at 04:35 AM ·

I ran them through (image-based search).  No hits, but they only have about a billion images indexed.

October 21, 2009 at 12:23 PM ·

Picture #1 - Henny Youngman
Picture #2 - Bernie Madoff
Picture #3 - My tax guy

October 21, 2009 at 01:04 PM ·

Jack - not likely, since she was French, and the photo was taken in NY.   Unless she went through NY on tour at a young age, it's not her.

Bruce - not likely because the photo was taken in Bournemouth, UK.  In any event, you can find photos of Sarasate on the internet, and he does not look like the man in this picture.

As to both guesses, IMHO neither of these pictures look like likely poses for top musicians on tour.  In addition, the facial expressions in these two seems wrong for a top musician.  The third picture is actually the only one that looks like a pose a top musician would adopt, at least to me.



October 21, 2009 at 01:53 PM ·

I'm still the most handsome

October 21, 2009 at 02:36 PM ·

Looking at the facial bone structure of the first one, I would guess a young Isaac Stern.  I have no clue on the second one, but on the third one, could the name conceivably be "Nic." instead of "Vic."?  In which case, you could be looking at an extremely old Daquerreotype of Paganni.  I am a violist, but I'm also a photographer, and if you could find out more about the studios where at least the first two were taken, you'd narrow your search field immensely.  Maybe check out city tax records archives for the studios?  However you go about it, good luck!  Let us know what you find out, too!



October 21, 2009 at 02:45 PM ·

@ Sandy- LOL!!!!!! X^D

I was thinking that #2 was Kriesler?  And #1 is Isaac Stern!  I just know it is!

October 21, 2009 at 03:22 PM ·

Royce - #2 does not look like Kreisler.  Take a look at pictures of him on the internet.  And, #1 does not strike me as looking at all like Stern.   I think we need to keep looking/guessing.

Lynn - #2 is not Paganini.  All the pictures of him on the internet show a very different facial structure plus long sideburns and no moustache.


October 21, 2009 at 03:34 PM ·

I've sent a copy of this link to Cheniston Roland to see what he thinks as well.  I am baffled!

October 21, 2009 at 03:40 PM ·

There was never a photo of Paganini. That famous one that has been used for years as the only photo of Paganini (the skinny guy with the long hair and the black suit and the skeleton-like face) was proven to be a forgery. Paganini did die the same year that the earliest photos were invented (1840), but unfortunately he never posed for one. The real tragedy is that we don't have recordings that go back that far. How would you have liked to have heard Paganini and Vivaldi and Wieniewski?

Picture #1 does look like a young Isaac Stern. However, considering the clothing and other aspects of it, it looks like it was taken long before Stern was born.

October 21, 2009 at 05:06 PM ·

Looking at the second photo again, and seeing that it was taken in Bournemouth, England.  I wonder if the violinist was a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (originally called the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra.)   Someone mentioned the medal that the violinist is wearing and perhaps it is some kind of  commemorative "long service" award from the orchestra.   I'd say the date looks around 1920s or 30s...

Can anyone blow up the area of the medal and perhaps give us more details? 

October 21, 2009 at 05:31 PM ·

Sander - there are paintings and drawings of him on the internet in addition to the famous one.  Those are what I was describing.  Just google him, and you will pick them up.

October 21, 2009 at 08:25 PM ·

Thanks, Tom. Yes, I know.

One of those paintings (the painting by Delacroix) is my computer wallpaper. It is really fascinating, and was done by the artist after actually watching Paganini play.It has that sense of the immediacy of a photograph about it, and you really get a sense of Paganini's concentration, in addition to his stance and bow hold and left hand.

You can download it as wallpaper, but I forgot the website. Just google "paganini delacroix" and you'll find it.


October 21, 2009 at 08:39 PM ·

Actually, all three photos are of the same violinist, my all-time favorite violinist of the past - Hinden Von Burgenburg - at different stages of his life. The last picture is the stage he was in when they drove him out of town. Not many people know this, but Tchaikovsky first dedicated his newly-composed Violin Concerto to Von Burgenburg, but Von Burgenburg pronounced it unplayable (primarily because the piece contained notes other than the four open strings). He later became concertmaster of the orchestra at a local hamburger franchise, where he was in the orchestra when they played the world premier of Wagner's Onion Ring cycle. Von Burgenburg then rode the cycle home.
(There's so much to learn.)

October 22, 2009 at 02:43 AM ·

I'm pretty sure it's not him, but the second guy appears to be the vintage of Franz Kneisel.

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