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Eric Rosenblith Dec. 11, 1920 — Dec. 16, 2010 Consumate musician and violinist, solo, orchestral and chamber music performer, passionate teacher and mentor to thousands of violinists from the Americas, Europe and Asia.


December 30, 2010
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 age eight. To escape the rising tide of Nazi persecution, Eric's father moved the family to Paris, where, at the age of eleven, 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, Maine, which, over the past fourteen 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 twenty to twenty-five public concerts in Fryeburg and surrounding communities.

Within the last ten 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. He is survived by his wife, Carol of Newton, Mass., and his son, documentary film maker, Alan Bernard Rosenblith of Portland, Oregon, along with, the family of his late brother, Walter Rosenblith and other members of the extended family. His vast extended musical family, consisting of legions of friends, colleagues and students here and around the world will miss him.

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, visit www.imaifestival.org or, to receive further details by email, send a request to rosenblith@earthlink.net.

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