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Joseph Achron

Joseph Achron (May 13, 1886 – April 29, 1943) was a Lithuanian born composer and violinist. His preoccupation with Jewish elements and his desire to develop a ‘Jewish’ harmonic and contrapuntal idiom, underscored and informed much of his work. Notable composer and friend Arnold Schönberg described Achron in his obituary as “one of the most underrated modern composers”.

Achron was born in Lozdzieje, Poland (now Lazdijai, Lithuania) and began the study of the violin under his father, an amateur violinist, at the age of five. His first public performance followed thr ...read more

Joseph Achron (May 13, 1886 – April 29, 1943) was a Lithuanian born composer and violinist. His preoccupation with Jewish elements and his desire to develop a ‘Jewish’ harmonic and contrapuntal idiom, underscored and informed much of his work. Notable composer and friend Arnold Schönberg described Achron in his obituary as “one of the most underrated modern composers”.

Achron was born in Lozdzieje, Poland (now Lazdijai, Lithuania) and began the study of the violin under his father, an amateur violinist, at the age of five. His first public performance followed three years later at age seven in Warsaw. This was followed by a prodigious childhood career including performances throughout Russia. Between 1899 and 1904 he studied violin under legendary teacher Leopold Auer and composition under Anatoly Ljadovat, at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg.

He joined the Society for Jewish Folk Music in 1911 and from that point occupied himself in theory and practice with the Jewish music tradition. His first ‘Jewish’ work ’’Hebrew Melody’’ became immediately recognised through the interpretation of violinist Jascha Heifetz. In 1913 Achron became the head of the violin and chamber music departments at the Kharkiv Conservatory in Russia, and served in the Russian Army between 1916 and 1918. In the years after World War I he toured extensively as a concert artist in Europe, the Near East and Russia, performing over 1000 concerts between 1919 and 1922. « hide

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