Price: $650.00

MINT CONDITION

DAVID SCHOR - PIANIST

Autographed postcard photograph of the pianist, founder of the Moscow Trio and heroic Zionist, Moscow, April 11, 1915.

 

Rarely does one encounter a musician who was also a true hero, Schor was both.  The pianist (1867-1942) was born into a prominent Jewish family that had more stature than wealth.  His father was a well known school teacher and town father in Simferopol.  He taught his sons the basics of music and piano and succeeded to such a degree that he gained admission into the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1880.  He first studied with the Leschetiszky pupil Karl Fan-Ark and eventually moved on to Vasily Safanov.  He was still at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1885 when he transferred to the Moscow Conservatory following his teacher Safonov when he at the invitation Piotr Tchaikovsky transferred to teach piano at the Moscow Conservatory.  Schor graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1889 and was immediately asked to remain and teach there.  He refused as it would have involved Baptism as a requirement to teach there at that time. He instead taught at the Elizabethan Institute, which at the time was a school for the daughters of lower level nobility, high ranking military officers, merchants and clergy. 

 

In 1892, Schor with his Moscow Conservatory school mates violinist David Crane and cellist Modest Altschuler formed the Schor Trio. They quickly became the premier trio in Imperial Russia performing “Historical Chamber Mornings” which included a blend of both classical and contemporary repertory including commissions.  One such commission was Gretchaninov’s 1st Piano Trio op. 38 and dedicated to Sergei Tanayev.  The work completed in 1906 was first performed by the Trio in 1907.  Altschuler emigrated to the United States in 1894 and cellist Rudolf Erlich took his place.  The Trio toured Europe, London, Berlin and Paris.  In London in 1904 they were produced by the Broadwood Piano Manufacturers Concerts.  They also performed significantly in Russia, including the Siloti concerts and also at the request of Leo Tolstoy, they performed at Yasna Polyana his home. With the exception of a short period in 1907 when Alexander Goldenweiser took over, the trio existed until 1924 when Erlich passed away.

 

In 1911, Shor, tenor Leonid Sobinov and Schor’s son Yevsey, they founded the Beethoven Studio in Moscow, more formally known as the Beethoven Institute for Musical Education. The idea was the promotion of musical education through the works of Ludwig van Beethoven.  He also taught privately.  In 1918 after the Revolution, he was appointed Instructor of chamber ensemble and solo pianoforte at the Moscow Conservatory.  In 1919 he was named full Professor.

 

Schor and the Nobel Prize winning novelist Ivan Bunin visited Palestine.  While in Israel he met with Zionists and became fully indoctrinated in the movement, a movement whose origins were actually founded in the Russian Empire. Eventually there were two participating branches, the Western and the Eastern Zionists, had in some cases entirely different philosophies.  Theodor Herzl, who is the best known Zionist leader ran the Western branch from Germany.  There was a period, from 1905-1917 which is referred to as a period of “Russian liberalism” where they were able to operate more in the open.  However, in 1922, under the Soviets, there was a purge of Soviet Zionists which included mass arrests.  Shor by this time was well connected in the Soviet hierarchy and was able to convince the half Jewish Bolshevik and Politiburo member Lev Kamenev to deport the Zionists without right of return to Russia.  From 1923-1931, the program Shor negotiated with Kamenev saved some 2000 Soviet Zionists and their families. In 1925, Shor and the famous structural engineer Isaak Rabinovich wrote a letter to the All-Russia Central Executive Committee requesting an end to the purges of Zionists and to allow Jews to emigrate to Palestine and further be taught Hebrew.  The plan initially moved forward and in the end was rejected.  The same year Schor left the Soviet Union for Palestine. In 1926 he returned to Moscow for family reasons in 1926, though in 1927, Schor settled with his family in Tel Aviv.  Initially he taught music, presented and performed in concerts and lectured about musical topics.  In 1934, Schor and his son Joshua organized the Tel Aviv Department of Musical Education for the local government and in 1936 created the Institute of Musical Education.  He played a concert in 1942 to celebrate his 75th birthday shortly before his death.

 

Scarce of the musician and a true Zionist hero!      

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