The Lost Cel­los of Lev Aronson

Frances Brent
  • Review
By – September 13, 2011
Lev Aron­son was a world-renowned cel­list and teacher who served as the prin­ci­pal cel­list of the Dal­las Sym­pho­ny. His path to that posi­tion was full of obsta­cles. Born in Ger­many and raised in Rus­sia and Latvia, he trav­eled around Europe build­ing a career until the Nazis destroyed the Continent’s cul­tur­al foun­da­tions. Con­fined to the Riga Ghet­to and then to Stut­tof con­cen­tra­tion camp, he lost his fam­i­ly, his lover, and his beloved Amati cel­lo. Frances Brent tells the mov­ing sto­ry of his life based on mate­ri­als from Aronson’s papers, his­tor­i­cal sources, and peri­od­i­cal arti­cles. She traces Aronson’s jour­ney from the camps, where he think-sings” con­cer­tos to retain his musi­cal skills and estab­lish the dis­ci­pline to sur­vive, to post-war Berlin, where he tries to find a new cel­lo, to the Unit­ed States, where he becomes a respect­ed musi­cian and teacher. Lev Aronson’s sto­ry will inter­est musi­cians and stu­dents as well as historians.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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