segunda-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2009
Yehudi Menuhin, Barão Menuhin de Stoke d'Abernon,
(22 de abril de 1916, Nova Iorque – 12 de março de 1999, Berlim)
Foi um violinista e maestro estado-unidense que passou a maior parte de sua carreira no Reino Unido.
Apesar de ter nascido em Nova Iorque, ele se naturalizou suíço em 1970 e britânico em 1985.
Yehudi Menuhin was born in New York City, New York, to Russian Jewish parents from what is now Belarus. His sisters were the concert pianist and human rights worker Hephzibah Menuhin and the pianist, painter, and poet Yaltah Menuhin. Through his father Moshe Menuhin, a former rabbinical student and anti-Zionist writer, Menuhin was descended from a distinguished rabbinical dynasty. Menuhin began violin instruction at age three under violinist Sigmund Anker. He displayed extraordinary talents at an early age. His first solo violin performance was at the age of seven with the San Francisco Symphony in 1923. Menuhin later studied under the Romanian composer and violinist George Enescu, after which he made several recordings with his sister Hephzibah. He was also a student of Louis Persinger and Adolf Busch. When a child and an adolescent, his fame was phenomenal. In 1929 he played in Berlin, under Bruno Walter's baton, three concerti by Bach, Brahms and Beethoven. Albert Einstein is said to have exclaimed at the end of the concert, "Now I know that there is a God!" In 1932, he recorded Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor for HMV in London, with the composer himself conducting.
Yehudi Menuhin performed for allied soldiers during World War II,
and went with the composer Benjamin Britten to perform for
inmates of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, after its liberation
in April 1945.
He returned to Germany in 1947 to perform with the
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler
as an act of reconciliation, becoming the first Jewish musician
to do so following the Holocaust.
He said to critics within the Jewish community that he wanted
to rehabilitate Germany's music and spirit.
After building early success on richly romantic
and tonally opulent performances, he experienced considerable physical
and artistic difficulties caused by overwork during the war
as well as unfocused and unstructured early training.
Careful practice and study combined with meditation and
yoga helped him overcome many of these problems.
His profound and considered musical interpretations
are nearly universally acclaimed.
When he finally resumed recording, he was known for practising
by deconstructing music phrases one note at a time.
Menuhin continued to perform to an advanced age,
becoming known for profound interpretations of an austere quality,
as well as for his explorations of music outside the classical realm.
Yehudi Menuhin was married twice. He first married Nola Nicholas, daughter of an Australian industrialist, and sister of Hephzibah Menuhin's first husband Lindsay Nicholas. They had two children, Krov and Zamira. Following their divorce, he married the British ballerina and actress Diana Gould, with whom he had two sons, Gerard and Jeremy, a pianist.
The name Yehudi means 'Jew' in Hebrew. In an interview published in October 2004,
he recounted to New Internationalist magazine the story of his name: it is a variation of the name Yehudah, a name given by Jacob, and one of the tribes of Israel. It means "Thanks to God".
Obliged to find an apartment of their own, my parents searched the
neighbourhood and chose one within walking distance of the park. Showing them out after they had viewed it, the landlady said: "And you'll be glad to know I don't take Jews." Her mistake made clear to her, the antisemitic landlady was renounced, and another apartment found. But her blunder left its mark. Back on the street my mother made a vow. Her unborn baby would have a label proclaiming his race to the world. He would be called "The Jew."
A picture of Menuhin as a child is sometimes used as part of a Thematic Apperception Test.
Lord Menuhin died in Berlin, Germany following a brief illness, from complications of bronchitis.
Soon after his death, the Royal Academy of Music acquired the Yehudi Menuhin Archive, one of the most comprehensive collections ever assembled by an individual musician.