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Henryk Szeryng

Biography

Born: September 22, 1918; Zelazowa Wola, Poland   Died: March 3, 1988; Kassel, Germany  
Polish-born violinist Henryk Szeryng was probably the finest product of Carl Flesch's legendary teaching career. Possessing an iron technique and a musical intellect of rare insight, Szeryng established himself as one of the pre-eminent concert violinists of the post-World War II decades.

Szeryng was born in 1918 to a wealthy Polish industrialist whose wife had a great love of music. Studies on the piano were abandoned for the
Read more violin, though Szeryng remained skilled at the keyboard for the rest of his life. Szeryng progressed quickly on his new instrument and by age nine was sufficiently proficient to perform the Mendelssohn concerto for famed violinist Bronislaw Hubermann, a friend of the family. On Hubermann's advice Szeryng was sent to Berlin to study with Carl Flesch; Szeryng would later declare that his technical prowess was solely due to that masterful teacher's influence. Two years later in 1933, Szeryng made his debut performance in Warsaw with the Beethoven concerto under Bruno Walter. That same year he embarked on a minor concert tour, soloing with orchestras in Bucharest, Vienna, and Paris.

Szeryng immediately took to the city of Paris and settled there for a period of further study and growth as a performer. There he came under the influence of legendary violinists Enescu and Thibaud, though he did not formally study with either. Szeryng also thought about pursuing composition as a career, and for six years took lessons from Nadia Boulanger.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 Szeryng enlisted with the Polish army. Being fluent in seven languages, he was assigned to General Sikorski as a translator, with whom Szeryng helped to relocate hundreds of Polish refugees in Mexico. During the war Szeryng gave hundreds of concerts for Allied troops around the globe, and in 1943, during a concert series in Mexico City, was invited to take over the string department at the University of Mexico. Szeryng accepted the offer, and assumed his duties in 1946.

He spent the next ten years in Mexico, and eventually took citizenship there. Performing infrequently, Szeryng was largely forgotten in the musical centers of Europe. A chance encounter with fellow Pole Artur Rubinstein in Mexico City convinced Szeryng to re-enter the musical scene. A New York debut in 1956 immediately established Szeryng as a leading violinist of the day, and for the next 30 years Szeryng divided his time between a globe-trotting concert schedule and his teaching duties in Mexico.

As a violinist Szeryng was unique; sometimes criticized for being too restrained, he was nevertheless capable of playing with warmth and fire when he felt compelled to do so (as in his magnificent performances of the Sibelius concerto). His excellent recordings include two full sets of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas, as well as the major violin concertos in the repertory (he has also championed and recorded the work of many composers from his adopted country of Mexico). Recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas with Artur Rubinstein are particularly rewarding. Of note also is Szeryng's world-premiere recording of Paganini's E major Violin Concerto No. 3, which Szeryng himself reconstructed from parts held in the archives of the legendary Italian violinist's heirs.

Szeryng could at times be somewhat inconsistent. In live performances his calculated precision might turn cold, and in later years it is rumored that troubles with alcohol led to a somewhat deteriorated technical ability. Until his death in 1988 he traveled with a Mexican diplomatic passport, and was involved in various humanitarian projects through the United Nations; Szeryng never ceased believing in music as a unifying, healing power. Read less
Mozart: Violin & Wind Concertos / Szeryng, Nicolet, Holliger [9-CD Collector's Edition]
Release Date: 10/16/2012   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001735302   Number of Discs: 9
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Paganini: Violin Concertos No 1 & 4 / Szeryng, Gibson
Release Date: 11/20/2007   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186178   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 51-75 of 107 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Be Mine - The Ultimate Romance Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000386402 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Henryk Szeryng,  Marie Goossens  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Benjamin Britten,  Ernest Ansermet,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    For The Wine Connoisseur
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000387802 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean Joseph Mouret  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Heinz Holliger,  Maria Teresa Garatti,  Severino Gazzelloni  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Benjamin Britten,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 53.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto;  Bach / Szering, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1353 Release Date: 12/14/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven: Violin Sonatas / Szeryng, Tocco
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 631041 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  James Tocco
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  • 55.
    Greatest Hits - Violin
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000192002 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Jerry Bock  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Henryk Szeryng  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lakatos Róbert,  Andrew Litton,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Roby Lakatos Ensemble,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Szeryng - Brahms: Violin Concerto; Bach, Leclair, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 90440 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Claude Debussy,  Ottokar Novácek,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng
    Conductor:  Paul Paray
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  • 57.
    Schoenberg: Piano & Violin Concertos;  Berg: Violin Concerto
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000174102 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Zvi Zeitlin,  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    The #1 Adagios Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000082402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Maurice Ravel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alessandro Marcello  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Teresa Garatti,  Irena Grafenauer,  Maria Graf,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Neville Marriner,  James Judd,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 59.
    The Art Of Henryk Szeryng
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4231 Release Date: 03/04/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Suk,  Pablo de Sarasate,  José Sabre Marroquin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Charles Reiner
    Conductor:  Jorge Mester,  Gabriel Bouillon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio Canada Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
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  • 60.
    The #1 Bach Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472758 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock,  Wolfgang Rübsam,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  János Starker  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Karl Richter,  Barry Rose,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 61.
    Trio - Brahms: Complete Concertos, Overtures /Brendel, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 473267 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  János Starker,  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Evening Adagios - Over 2 1/2 Hours Of Peaceful Evening Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470780 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Kjell Lysell,  Bengt Forsberg,  Mats Lidström,  Ulf Forsberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  István Kertész,  Riccardo Chailly,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Vienna Haydn Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 63.
    Trio - Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, Etc / Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 470934 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  William Bennett,  John Birch,  Denis Vigay,  Kenneth Sillito  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $23.99
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  • 64.
    Bach: The Complete Orchestral Works / Neville Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456377 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  William Bennett,  Maurice Hasson,  Henryk Szeryng,  José Luis Garcia  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields members
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  • 65.
    Masters Of The Bow - Violin / Accardo, Bell, Grumiaux, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 472207 Release Date: 03/19/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Enrique Granados,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Reiner,  Henryk Szeryng,  Jean-Claude Ambrosini,  Christian Ferras  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Claudio Abbado,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 66.
    Baroque Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470460 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Trevor Connah,  Tommaso Ruta,  Gino Del Vescovo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Raymond Agoult,  Anthony Lewis,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  I Musici,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 67.
    Movie Adagios / Solti, Tebaldi, Lupu, Schiff, Fleming, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468506 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini,  Andrea Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Renée Fleming,  Dietfried Gürtler  ... 
    Conductor:  András Schiff,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Nick Ingman,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonia  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 68.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 76 - Schubert, Schumann: Piano Trios
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63076 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Henryk Szeryng,  Artur Rubinstein
    CD not available
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  • 69.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 73 - Brahms, Schubert: Piano Trios
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63073 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Artur Rubinstein,  Henryk Szeryng
    CD not available
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  • 70.
    Eloquence - Beethoven: Violin Sonatas / Haebler, Szeryng
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468152 Release Date: 05/08/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Ingrid Haebler
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  • 71.
    Violin Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467675 Release Date: 03/20/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Akiko Suwanai,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Mauceri,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 72 - Brahms: Piano Trios 1 & 2
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63072 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Henryk Szeryng,  Artur Rubinstein
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  • 73.
    Virtuoso Violin - Kreisler, Paganini, Et Al / Kremer, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469235 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Maurice Ravel,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  Gerhard Oppitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 40 - Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63040 Release Date: 01/09/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Henryk Szeryng
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  • 75.
    20th Century Violin Concertos II
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464979 Release Date: 11/15/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  Jan Krenz,  Sir Georg Solti,  André Previn,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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