Frieda, in 1947, left Europe for the United States, eventually settling in Laguna Beach, California joining the music faculty of UCLA in 1949. She formed an ad hoc group she named The Vine Street Players in 1953, an orchestral ensemble of colleagues from the local area universities as well as studio musicians from Hollywood.
The formation of the Vine Street Players proved fortuitous for Belinfante. A successful performance in the Redlands Bowl by the ensemble under Belinfante’s direction prompted local civic and cultural leaders to invite Belinfante to form a permanent orchestral ensemble in Orange County. She subsequently became the founding artistic director and conductor of the inaugural Orange County Philharmonic Society.
Freida was a huge character who played a remarkably courageous part in the resistance in the Netherlands in WW2. Recordings of her performing reveal her as a superb cellist, though she was a conductor in later life. She sold her cello to the director of the Heineken brewery to raise money for the resistance.
Any information as to surviving relatives or how to contact the orchestra would be most gratefully received. Thank you. John
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