Text Box: VIOLINist autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541


Price: $185.00



Two page autographed letter signed on a 3.5” x 4.5” textured parchment like correspondence card, Winterthur, December 31, 1939.  Rybar writes to a “Doctor” friend of the family, not sure if this is a physician, or an academic.

Winterthur 31-12-1939


Dear Sir Doctor,

I wish you well for the New Year. Sending wishes to you, Vasun and to your all of your daughters. I hope you are doing well and that your mental strength is strong. We often remember our mother with your mother!


As I go, I am busy from morning till evening, but I am happy to have my mother with me.

We are of the same opinion that my mother will not return to England, but that she will go to Portugal, which is good for her and where the upland South climate will make her well.                                                                                


With the most delightful happiness to you and your wife always.


Rybar (1913-2002) was born in Vienna to two Czech violinists.  His mother was a Sevcik and Cesar Thomson and she was his first teacher. His mother brought him to England in 1914, so English became his mother tongue. His Father who fought in the Austrian Army was killed in action in 1915 during the First World War.  Based upon circumstances which will appear later, it would appear his mother was Jewish and as there are Jewish Rybar’s, his father may have been as well.  His mother who travelled with his son constantly brought him to Geneva and Leipzig for further tutelage after the War.  In 1929 his mother brought him back to Prague.  He enrolled in the Conservatory there and studied with Josef Suk.  In 1931 he began to concertize professionally whilst still a student, his most important concert was the Czech premiere of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto in D.  The performance launched his career.  He went on to Paris, where he gave the French Premiere of the same concerto, this time with Stravinsky in the audience.  He moved to Paris with his mother in 1934 to study with Carl Flesch.  Flesch does not mention him in his 1957 autobiography.  Whilst in Paris he met with Bohuslav Martinu who was also Czech ex-pat and they became life-long friends.  He also became friendly with Fritz and Adolf Busch who by this time had left Germany.  Adolf was living and teaching in Winterthur, Switzerland and introduced him to conductor Julius Röntgen who auditioned him and invited him to Winterthur to become the Concertmaster of the Winterthur Symphony, leader of the Winterthur String Quartet and Professor at the Conservatory.  So in early 1938, Rybar and his mother moved to Winterthur, unfortunately Julius Röntgen left for another position.  Further his mother took ill and so they received dispensation to move to Portugal in 1940 for her health.  While in Portugal he dedicated himself to learning the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin.  He was there for 18 months. I have not been able to discover what became of his mother.  Rybar returned to Winterthur where he taught until around 1970.  He married the pianist Marcelle Daepen in 1952 and they began to perform dual recitals around Europe.  Rybar was also accompanied by several mother leading musicians in Switzerland including Wilhelm Backhaus, Edwin Fisher and Clara Haskil.  So Rybar was a busy man planning solo, chamber and orchestral engagements throughout Switzerland and Europe.  He was also very busy in the recording studio and his original records, now issued on CD and digitally are prized by collectors. The violinist was the first to record the Goldmark Concerto and the Viotti B Minor Concerto. Rybar retired to the Lugano lake district and in 1970 was convinced by Wolfgang Sawallisch to become concertmaster of the Suisse Orchestre Romande.  He held that position until 1980.  His final solo recital was in 1986.

Rybar is a true cult figure in the World of violinists and enthusiasts due to his records.  His autographs are completely scarce.  This early letter at the age of 26 was obviously before his 18 month sabbatical with his mother in Portugal.