Famous Violinists Who Busk


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February 2, 2008
By Posted in busking | 2 Comments »

My blog still gets a lot of hits from people searching information about the incident last year when famous violinist Joshua Bell played in the Washington DC subway.

Another famous violinist also busked in the streets, but as he didn’t do it as a publicity stunt most people don’t know about it…

Fritz Kreisler (1875 – 1962) was an Austria-born American violinist and composer; one of the most famous violinists of his day. He is noted for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing.

Fritz Kreisler

While surfing the net I came across a fascinating account of how while Fritz Kreisler was fulfilling an engagement of a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall he used his free day-time to busk in the streets of NYC:

Mid-concert at Carnegie Hall Kreisler made an amazing comment: ‘The reason I’m a bit weary tonight,’ he said, ‘is because I played on the streets of New York all day today dressed as a busker (street musician) with my violin case opened for donations. It does me good to play for the people. But not one person stopped to listen, or gave me a cent!'”

Hmmm…I didn’t know there is a dress code for busking :)

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2 Responses to Famous Violinists Who Busk

  1. Ramon on February 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    That is a funny element of the comment. How can we find out what the busker outfit was like?

  2. Sally Scott on January 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Pretty simple really. I suppose he probably means that he did not wear his smart, tuxedo style suit he wore to play at Carnegie Hall. I love good buskers, always stop to listen and give some money. Great buskers in Covent Garden, London.

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