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Published on Jun 12, 2008
Michael Rabin - Violin Leon Pommers - Piano
Michael Rabin (May 2, 1936 - January 19, 1972) was an American violinist of Romanian descent. He began to learn the violin when he was seven. His father George, a violinist in the New York Philharmonic, noticed his talent. A lesson with Jascha Heifetz was arranged and the master advised him to study with Ivan Galamian, who said he had: "no weaknesses, never." His mother Jeanne was a Juilliard-trained and successful pianist. He began studies with Galamian in New York and at Meadowmount and The Juilliard School, and went on to appear with a number of American orchestras before his 29 November 1951 Carnegie Hall debut in the Paganini D major Concerto, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting the New York Philharmonic. He first appeared in London on 13 December 1954, playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Michael Rabin recorded concertos by Mendelssohn, Bruch (Scottish Fantasy), Glazunov, Paganini (no. 1 in D major-2 recordings), Wieniawski (No.1 in f-sharp minor, No. 2 in d-minor), and Tchaikovsky, as well as the Paganini Caprices. He recorded the Bach Sonata in C major for solo violin and the Ysaÿe Third and Fourth Sonatas for solo violin, as well as virtuoso pieces, including an album with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Rabin played in a Bel Canto style. During a recital in Carnegie Hall, he suddenly fell forward and momentarily lost his balance, and this was the beginning of a neurological condition which was to affect his career adversely. He died prematurely at the age of 35 from a head injury sustained in a fall at his New York apartment. He performed for many years on the "Kubelik" Guarnerius del Gesu of 1735.