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Dr. Leopold Auer, Famous Violinist and Teacher Fo Elman, Heifetz, Dies at 85

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Dr. Leopold Auer, famous violin teacher, who numbered among his pupils Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz and Efrem Zimbalist, died here yesterday at the age of 85. He had developed pnuemonia a few days ago and had been treated in a local sanatorium.

Leopold Auer was born of Jewish parents at Veszprim, Hungary. He studied the violin with the celebrated Joachim and later achieved success as a virtuoso in several European capitals which he toured. Through the influence of Anton Rubinstein, the famous composer who befriended Auer and who was director of the Imperial Conservatory of St. Petersburgh, Russia, Auer became professor of violin in this institution in 1869, succeeding Henri Wieniawski, another famous violinist and composer.

Auer remained for many years in Russia, where he was honored by being given the title of soloist to the Czar’s court, a post which he held under three Czars, Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II. In St. Petersburg, where some of the most famous musicians in the world were gathered during his time, Auer became an intimate friend of Tchaikowsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Glazounoff. He founded the first string quartet and held the post of concert director of the imperial Russian Society of Music.

After the outbreak of the war, Dr. Auer left Russia and spent some time in the Scandinavian countries. In 1918 he arrived in New York, where young violinists besieged him with requests to be taken as students. In 1925 a concert was given in Carnegie Hall, when several of his pupils who had become famous musicians united to do him honor. In 1926, at the age of 81, he became an American citizen. He recently published a book of reminiscences, called “My Long Life in Music.”

“From Russia and America will come the great music of the future,” Dr. Auer declared a few years ago in an interview. “These countries are the youngest in art, and my sympathies and beliefs are always with youth.”

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