Biography of Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999)

Violinist and associate director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, born on April 22, 1916 in New York and died on 12 March 1999 in Berlin (Germany). He/She began his violin studies at age 5 and as a child prodigy made an international career, which led him to be regarded as one of the best violinists of the 20th century, both in their concerts as soloist in recitals given along with his sister Hephzibah, four years younger than he. Son of Jews who emigrated from Russia, Yehudi was soon revealed as a prodigious violinist and five years gave its first public concert in the city of San Francisco. Parents always wore him to performances by the Symphony Orchestra of the city. The violinist Louis Persinger was the first who discovered his musical skills and his first teacher. Also in San Francisco, he/she received classes of Sigmund Anker, and then was a student of Georges Enesco, Romania and Adolph Busch, in Basel. Since the seven years he/she was known by "wonder of the violin" and "the Einstein of the violin". He/She made his presentation in Paris with 10 years in New York with eleven and in Berlin with thirteen.

He obtained British citizenship in 1985. Béla Bartók dedicated Sonata for solo violin, which directed Menhuin in a first hearing in New York in 1944. In addition, he/she has published numerous works of Mendelshon and has written articles in music magazines. He/She has been guest soloist with major orchestras of the world, many of its concerts accompanied on the piano by his sister Hephazibah. In 1935 made his first return to the world, at the end of which, exhausted, retreated for a few months, reappearing in the Orchestra led by the great Toscanini. By their Jewish status, Yehudi Menuhin had major problems in its relations with the nazi Germany. In 1934, he/she refused to accept an official intivacion to give a concert in Germany. He/She asked that it was revoked the banishment of Walter Bruce and other musicians of Jewish race.

During the second world war intervened on behalf of the Red Cross and the Allied forces in more than 500 concerts. At the end of this, ignoring the advice of the Allied side, he/she agreed to act in Germany in 1947, under the direction of Wilhem Furtwängler, who was director of the Berlin Philharmonic during the Third Reich. In 1950, he/she appeared by invitation in Moscow, and made his first tour of Japan in 1951. In 1955, was responsible for the program of cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. By his initiative, in 1957 was created the annual music festival in the Swiss town of Gstadd, and between 1959 and 1968 directed of the British town of Bath. Between 1969 and 1972 was the artistic director of the Windsor Festival. It has always ruled in favour of peace and human rights, so it has received important awards such as the Yawahasjal Nehru (1970) and the peace prize of the German booksellers (1979).Founder of two important schools, one in Stoke d'Abernon, Great Britain, in 1963, for young people from seven to eighteen years, and another in Gstaad, Switzerland, the Foundation Academy International of Chamber music, created in 1975, for violinists more advanced, from eighteen to thirty years. In 1986, was created in Barcelona a subsidiary of the latter, chaired by the own Menuhin. His career as a violinist should join the conductor. Since 1982 he/she is associate director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, and since 1988, guest conductor of the English String Orchestra. It is said that it is the only director capable of directing with the feet, in reference to an anecdote that starred in 1982, in one of the concerts which celebrated the centenary of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. On that occasion, Menuhin, after joke with the audience about the fact that the conductors always act giving back, surprised everyone by placing on the podium upside down, before the public, and managing the beginning of the Fifth Symphony with the feet. Yehudi Menuhin, who has performed for Kings, heads of Government, billionaires and aristocrats, most of which has been, or is, close friend, boasts of his friendship with the Kings of Spain, that feels special affection. In 1984 he/she visited Spain to present the program of the Live Music Now, institution created by the 1977 musical Association and that it works in Great Britain and France. In October 1985 gave, in Spain, a benefit concert, organized by the Spanish Association of fight against polio, in the Teatro Real in Madrid. It marked the 50th anniversary of his first performance in Spain. Violinist confessed is a great admirer of medieval and religious music of our country. In 1988 he/she offered a new concert in Spain, this time in the Palacio de Música Catalana in Barcelona, in which, together with the small Lysy Gstaad, he/she interpreted works of Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Bartok, Paganini and Puchini. The Act was attended by Queen Sofia, who also chaired a tribute dedicated to the violinist Menuhin and attended the Masterclass given by him.

At the beginning of January 1990 in Cordoba began a tour of Spain that led him to perform in Seville, Santiago, Vitoria, Madrid and Valencia. That same year, in November, he/she returned to make a tour by our country, managing the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra in Zaragoza, Oviedo and Valencia.

In March 1991, he/she attempted to prevent the publication of a biography you, written by Tony Palmer and entitled Menuhin, a family portrait, which stated he/she had a wretched childhood, with a possessive mother who forced him to sacrifice his happiness. On the occasion of its 75th anniversary, in April 1991, gave a concert at the London Royal Festival Hall, attended by the Queen Mother and the Duchess of Kent. In 1992, Menuhin was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. In January 1993 the German city of Duisburg Music Prize received the Medal of merit of the Polish culture, and the following month. That same year visited Spain several times: in January led the Philharmonic Association of Madrid, in its first concert, in which acted on the piano his son Jeremy; He/She then appeared in Santiago de Compostela with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; in may he/she was at the Palau in Barcelona with the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona; and in November, he/she traveled to Madrid where he/she led the Orquesta de RTVE and presented the Spanish section of the European String Teachers Association (Association who chaired until October 1993 and which since holds the position of Honorary Chairman). On 11 December 1995 he/she received in Madrid the medal in gold of the General Society of authors in Spain (SGAE). That same month, day 28, the Spanish Council of Ministers agreed to grant him the Grand Cross of the order of Civil merit, award which was awarded by President Felipe González on February 19, 1996.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Menuhin was honored in several cities, including Warsaw, where on 30 April 1996 directed the Orchestra "Sinfonía Varsovia" interpreting the VI Pastoral of Beethoven and the first Symphony of Brahms.El 5 of August of that same year, Doña's Queen Sofia opened in the presence of the XXXV Festival international de Pollensa, Mallorcawith a monographic program dedicated to Beethoven in charge of the "Sinfonia Varsovia". A month later, on 30 September, Menuhin in Budapest received the cross with the star of the order to the merit of the Hungarian Republic. The award was given in recognition of the artistic work carried out for 75 years. Menuhin, who is initiator of the "Mus" Fund which aims to support the development of music in Sarajevo, went on 12 October 1996 the Sarajevo Philharmonic at the National Theater in the Bosnian capital. On December 11 of that same year he/she returns to Spain to direct, at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in a concert organised by the Promusica Foundation. Taking advantage of their stay in the Spanish capital, Menuhin had an encounter with the Minister of education and culture, Esperanza Aguirre, in order to incorporate some Spanish schools in art education. The musician is founder of a foundation that bears his name, based in Brussels, which tries to promote Europe your MUS-e project, which aims to implement in socially disadvantaged schools art education and fight against violence and intolerance. On May 23, 1997 he/she was awarded in Oviedo, together with Rostropovich, the prize Prince of Asturias the Concordia 1997, by the "universality of her music" and for their contributions to freedom, the defence of the rights of the weak and the most noble causes. On 6 September, the German society for the United Nations awarded the gold Otto Hahn peace Medal, delivered on 15 January 1998 in a gala held in Berlin. All these decorations, Menuhin added on 22 October 1997 the Gold Medal of honour of the city of Vienna. Regarded as one of the living myths of contemporary music, Menuhin has performed and directed best orchestras of the world and has developed an important formative work with their schools and dissemination of classical music with a foundation that has led music live to prisons and nursing homes. However, he/she has not only performed to classical musicians, has also been a heterodox Indian music interpreter (in the 70's were famous concerts and recordings with the interpreter of Ravu Shankar sitar), a passionate translator of melodies of jazz and has been involved in the filming of the movie "Rega", next to the famous actor George Harrison. It is a great admirer of flamenco and Gypsy culture. Owner of a collection of 30 violins, including the Stradivarius of 1714 and 1718 and a Guarnieru of 1742, is the author of books such as: the violin: six lessons with Yehudi Menuhin, written in 1971; Themes and variations of 1972, the violin and Violin and viola in 1976, music man 1980; and Christopher Hope, the book for children, the King, the cat and the violin, 1983. In addition, has published an autobiography: an unfinished journey of 1977.

Yehudi Menuhin also develops an important role as a Messenger of peace, taking advantage of his frequent travels around the world to denounce the horror of war, the danger of nationalism and the rise of intolerance and racism. It is in possession of the title of Knight Commander of the British Empire (1965), which gave the treatment of Sir and who could use to access British nationality, Grand Officer of the Legion of honour (1986), order of merit of Great Britain (1987); It is Commander of: the order of Arts and letters (France), order of Leopold (Belgium); Grand Officer: order of the Republic of Italy (1987), etc.

It has been conferred the doctor honoris causa by several academic institutions, including universities: Oxford (1962), Cambridge (1970), the Sorbonne (1976), Toronto (1984) and Gakushuin in Tokyo, in 1988. He/She is a big fan of yoga, practicing daily. In 1938, he/she married Nola Ruby Nicholas, with whom he/she had two sons. He/She remarried in 1947, this time with the Irish dancer Diana Rosamond, who gave her other two children.

1921: Gave its first public concert in San Francisco.1935: made his first return to the mundo.1963: in Great Britain created a school for young violinistas.1975: created the Foundation of Gstadd.1985: gave a benefit concert in Madrid, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his first performance in espana.1988: gave a recital at the Palacio de Catalana.1990 music: toured espana.1992: Ambassador of goodwill of the UNESCO.1995: He/She received the Gold Medal of the SGAE.1996: received the great cross of the merit Civil.1996: directs the Sarajevo Philharmonic in the TeatroNacional of the serbia.1996 capital: directed at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven.1997: awarded the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord, near Rostropovich.1997: German Association for the Nations United leconcede peace of Otto Hahn.1997 gold medal: Receives the Gold Medal of honour of the city deViena.