Eric Rosenblith

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Eric Rosenblith, concert violinist and beloved violin teacher, passed away on Dec. 16, 2010 at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 90.
He was a resident of Newton, Mass. and a part-time resident of Madison, N.H.
Eric was a consummate musician and violinist, solo, orchestral and chamber music performer, and passionate teacher and mentor to thousands of violinists from the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Eric moved with his family to Berlin two years later and began playing the violin at the age of four, making his professional debut at eight. To escape the rising tide of Nazi persecution, Eric’s father moved the family to Paris, where, at the age of 11, Eric entered the highly competitive Ecole Normale de Musique to study with Jacque Thibaud. Four years later, he was awarded the highest level diploma, the Licence de Concert. He then went on to London to study with the master violinist/teacher Carl Flesch, who, as a member of Eric’s jury panel for the Licence de Concert, had been impressed by the young man’s developing prowess and artistry. Then, in the late summer of 1939, once again in the face of impending Nazi invasion, Eric rejoined his family as they fled their home in Paris and sailed for New York City, arriving there in September just after war had broken out in Europe.
In this country, Eric launched a solo concert career and continued his studies with Bronislaw Huberman. When war was declared, Eric joined the U.S. Army, serving both as a mail clerk, and an occasional translator for German prisoners of war, as well as playing and performing for the troops and the war bond effort. When the war ended, Eric continued to concertize and then toured with the ballet orchestra of the Sadlers Wells (now Royal) Ballet. There he met and married the British ballerina, Margaret Sear.
In the years that followed, Eric served as Concert Master, for first the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, and then the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for 13 seasons. Tragically in 1956, an auto accident in Indiana claimed the lives of his wife and mother.
In the mid-1950s, Eric began the long and distinguished teaching career he pursued for the rest of his life at various institutions and posts, including Butler University and Bennington College, where he met Carol Child, who was to become his wife of 40 years. He then joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, where he served for 38 years and chaired the String Department for some 25 years. He also served on the faculties of the Hartt School, the University of Kansas and the Longy School of Music, where he was actively involved in teaching up until days before his death
Eric performed and gave master classes in a dozen countries spanning the globe and participated in numerous summer festivals. In 1997, he and his wife Carol, a lyric soprano (and now also a professional ice skating instructor), founded and directed the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, which over the past 14 summer seasons has brought a total of more than 200 professional and student musicians together from here and abroad to work together and learn from each other, and develop musically and artistically within an atmosphere of collegiality, guidance and mutual support. This approach was central to his philosophical and artistic views, and each season since 1997, the IMAI Festival has presented some 20 to 25 public concerts in Fryeburg and surrounding communities.
Within the last 10 years, Eric completed editing and translating Carl Flesch’s The Art of Violin Playing, a two-volume work published by Carl Fischer Music, and recently issued in a second edition. In October 2010, Carl Fischer Music published his book, Ah, You Play the Violin: Thoughts Along the Path to Musical Artistry, which is centered around his own philosophy and methods.
Colleagues, friends, and acquaintances knew him to be warm and charming, intellectually curious, and immensely engaging with a fund of jokes and a gift for telling stories. His vast extended musical family, consisting of legions of friends, colleagues and students here and around the world will miss him.
He is survived by his wife, Carol of Newton, Mass.; his son, the documentary filmmaker, Alan Bernard Rosenblith of Portland, Ore.
He was predeceased by his brother, Walter Rosenblith.
Funeral arrangements are private and a memorial concert/celebration of his life will be held in the spring. Further details will be announced.
To help perpetuate his legacy, contributions in his memory may be made to the International Musical Arts Institute (designated in memory of Eric Rosenblith), c/o Brenda Levy, Esq., Lawson and Weitzen, LLP, 88 Black Falcon Avenue, Suite 345, Boston, MA 02210. For more information, please visit www.imaifestival.org or, to receive further details by e-mail, please send a request to rosenblith@earthlink.net

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