Ruggiero Ricci, violin with the American Broadcasting Company Symphony – conducted by Bronislaw Gimpel – November 2, 1946 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
More rarities this week – two legendary violinists sharing the stage – one as conductor and the other as soloist. Ruggiero Rici with The American Broadcasting Company symphony conducted by Concert Master/Assistant Conductor Bronislaw Gimpel in a performance of the Paganini Violin concerto, from a concert recorded on November 2,1946.
Ruggiero Ricci gave his first public performance in 1928 at the age of 10 in San Francisco where he played works by Wieniawski and Vieuxtemps. He gained a reputation for being a child prodigy. At the age of 11, he gave his first orchestral performance, playing the Mendelssohn concerto, and soon after he had his highly successful debut at Carnegie Hall.
In the 1930s Ricci studied in Berlin with Georg Kulenkampff, where he learned a “German style” of playing in the tradition of Adolf Busch. He also studied with Mishel Piastro [it] and Paul Stassevich.
He served in the US Army from 1942 until 1945, where he was an “entertainment specialist”.
In 1947, Ricci was the first violinist to record the complete 24 Caprices, Op. 1, by Paganini, in their original form.[N 1] Ricci’s first recording was on the Decca recording label. After his time in the military, he uncovered many pieces by 19th-century composers that he would perform solo. He also performed the world premieres of pieces by many contemporary composers, including the violin concertos by Gottfried von Einem, Carlos Veerhoff and Alberto Ginastera.
Aside from performing over 6,000 concerts in 65 countries during his 70-year solo career, Ricci also made over 500 recordings, on every major label. He taught violin at Indiana University, the Juilliard School and the University of Michigan. He also taught at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Ricci held master classes in the United States and Europe. He wrote Left Hand Technique, a pedagogical volume for violin published by G. Schirmer.
Bronislaw Gimpel started learning to play the violin when he was five. He was taught by his father, Adolf, a conductor and head of a theatre in Lviv. Gimpel continued his education in the class of Moritz Wolfstahl in Lviv Conservatory, where he also debuted in 1919. He later studied in the class of Robert Pollack at Akademie für Musik in Vienna (1922-26) and in the class of Carl Flesch in Berlin (1928-29).
His international career began with a performance in Vienna in 1925. In 1926 Gimpel performed for Pope Pius XI and the royal couple. For the subsequent three years he went on tour throughout Europe and the Americas. In the years 1929-31 he was the concertmaster of the chamber orchestra in Kaliningrad, and from 1931 to 1936, the orchestra in Gothenburg. In 1935 he won the 9th award at the 1st edition of the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition. From 1936 to 37 he taught violin at the Music Institute in Lviv.
From 1937 on, Gimpel lived in the United States. Between 1937 and 1942 he ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1945 to 1950 he was a concertmaster and head of the ABC Radio Symphony in New York.
Enjoy the snippet from the concert.