Text Box: VIOLINIST autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247


Price: $400.00



Autographed 8” x 10” sepia photograph of a painting of the legendary violinist by an unknown artist to Marie Volpe, Director of the Greater Miami Philharmonic Orchestra and wife of the conductor Arnold Volpe, In kind remembrance, Miami, April 30, 1945.

By 1945, Huberman (1882-1947) had been in the public eye for fifty two years.  As this photograph was autographed on April 30, 1945 and we know he performed a recital at the White Temple Auditorium on April 2, 1945 must have spent at least a month as a snowbird in Miami.  Huberman had founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra to give work to his fellow Jews who had escaped Europe leaving their positions as orchestral musicians.  He had been living in Switzerland prior to the War. But while on tour in the U.S. it became very evident he could not get back to Switzerland, so he stayed, becoming a citizen in 1941.  It is interesting that this photograph is signed on April 20. 1945, the day Hitler committed suicide.  When the Russians stormed the bunker in Berlin they found Hitler’s record collection which contained 78 rpm records by both Huberman and Artur Schnabel.  

Marie Michelson Volpe (1880-1970) was born in Russia.  She married conductor Arnold Volpe whom she met after her arrival in 1902.  Arnold was well integrated into Russian musical society a violin graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, he counted Anton and Nicholas Rubinstein, his teacher Leopold Auer, Modest Altschuler and the family of his classmate and conducting pupil Ossip Gabrilowitsch as his friends and supporters who helped him along the way with financial assistance and recommendations.  Both Marie and Arnold were born in the city of Kovno in Russia.  Her parents and Arnolds parents knew each other, but Marie’s parents who wealthy and in the ostrich feather business took her to Berlin in 1882 where she was raised.  The family moved to New York in 1898 setting up shop there.  Marie joined the family business helping her mother manage the companies books.  She was introduced to Arnold on a street car by a family friend who was in the music business.  At the time, Arnold was a violinist in the private de Coppet string quartet.  (There were several of these private string quartets sponsored by wealthy captains of industry and bankers for their frequent parties.)  Marie began voice lessons at the age of 16, her sister Henriette was studying to be a concert pianist.  The sisters were popular and were proposed to multiple times.  However, they were not interested in getting married, Marie was not interested in a musical career.  Their mother like the idea of Arnold as a husband for Marie and brought him by ostensibly to listen to her voice and advise if she could make a singing career of it.  He offered to help and she invited him to come hear her sing at Temple Emanu-el for the high holy days.  When Arnold was unsuccessful in getting her to take professional lessons, he tried to woo her by playing his violin.  She enjoyed his playing, but was not interested in marriage.  When his mother was laying on her deathbed, Arnold brought Marie by to meet her and his mother pushed her to marry her favorite son and she finally relented and they became engaged in November, 1901.  They were married at Emanu-el in April of 1902.  Arnold was greeted by his Russian musical circle and became part of the team.  Arnold was fired with Modest Altschuler from the de Coppet Quartet, meanwhile he founded the Young Men’s Symphony Orchestra in 1902, a venture which would last until 1919.  In 1904 he formed the Volpe Symphony Orchestra in New York City as an opportunity for professional orchestral musicians who were not hired by the New York Philharmonic.  That venture ran through 1914.  He also was the Music Director of the Orchestra of the Brooklyn Institute of the Arts from 1909-1918.  (Benno Rabinoff was a violinist in that orchestra)  Whilst all this was going on, Marie with the help of New York Times critic Henry Krehbiel auditioned for soprano Marcella Sembrich.  The audition led to a recital in 1914 and that was so successful she was sent to Paris to study with Jacques Bouhy for three months.  She would study with Sembrich upon her return and gave two more recitals in New York City, both at Aeolian Hall, one in 1917, the other in 1918.  In 1918 Marie was instrumental in helping her husband obtain the financing to start the Stadium Concerts with the help of her friends the Guggenheimers and their relative by marriage,  Adolph Lewisohn who had given the stadium to City College.  Thus the long time  Summer Stadium Concerts were born with its’ own orchestra led by Volpe and included the Metropolitan Opera Chorus. So successful that they eventually became the Summer home of the New York Philharmonic.  In 1919 Volpe moved the family to Washington D.C. where he became the conductor of the Washington Opera.  That lasted until 1922.  From 1922-1925 Volpe became the Director of the Kansas City Conservatory of Music.  He was then hired to run the Chicago Musical College, but Arnold unhappy with Chicago as he found his composition pupils did not know theory and cancelled the contract qfter the first year in favor of another opportunity at the new University of Miami in Coral Gables.  Volpe then built the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra which became the main symphony orchestra in the Miami area, operating from 1926 under his leadership until his death in 1940.  Marie then took over as Director of the Orchestra, which by then was known as the Greater Miami Philharmonic and ran the orchestra until her retirement in 1963.  As the orchestra as professionals disbanded two year later, it is unknown as the records are lost whether Huberman played with them in April, 1945.  However, Marie was known as “The First Lady of Music in Florida”, so either way she would have known Huberman. 

Huberman autographed photographs are not common and we have had them over the years.  The largest autographed photograph we have seen previously was 6” x 8”.  This size is quite scarce.