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Adolph (Usiu) Baller

1909 Brody -1994 Palo Alto
Adolf / Adolph (Aszer / Usher / Usiu) Biller / Baller, born 1909 Brody, died 1994 Palo Alto, pianist, composer, teacher. 1915 piano lessons with Malvine Brée (assistant of Theodor Leschetitzky), 1918 piano and music studies Neues Wiener Konservatorium Angelo Kessissoglu and Hugo Kauder, chamber music with Simon Pullmann. Mid-1920ies child prodigy; accompanist to Maria Jeritza, Michael Bohnen and others, soloist with Wiener Symphonie-Orchester, Wiener Philharmoniker, solo recitals, Salzburger Festspiele. 1931 once more piano studies with Alexander Borowsky in Berlin, 1933 return to Vienna, professor Neues Wiener Konservatorium, lecturer at Wiener Volkshochschule (adult education institution), concert pianist. After the 'Anschluss' a solo recital scheduled for March 15, 1938 at the Wiener Konzerthaus was cancelled, Adolf Baller imprisoned and severely tortured by Nazi-henchmen - his hands burnt by lit cigarettes, his fingers broken. As a result his memory was impaired for life. Released by intervention of the Polish ambassador he immediately fled to Budapest, where he married Viennese violonist Edith Strauss-Neustadt and emigrated with her via Yugoslavia to the USA. No longer able to play by heart, he reverted to playing chamber music; from 1939 on he toured as an accompanist to Yehudi Menuhin; in 1943 he joined with Gabor Rejto, violoncello and Roman Totenberg, violin, to found the "Alma Trio" and performed with this trio until 1970. Teaching positions at Stanford University, San Francisco Conservatory a. o. Ballers entire family has been murdered by the Nazis. To cite Yehudi Menuhin: "His touch on the piano was as sensitive, as expressive and loving as he was himself in real life." Update Primavera Driessen Gruber January 12, 2014

 

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Adolph Baller

   

 


 


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