Cecil Aronowitz

Biography

Born: 1916; South Africa   Died: 1978; Ipswich, England  
Cecil Aronowitz was one of a select group of London-based classical musicians who were closely involved with the composer Benjamin Britten. While the violist's career was replete with stunning performances, important recordings, and gala events, his most profound influence may have been as a teacher. During his tenure at the Royal College of Music, he was personally involved with the training and instruction of many important musicians, Read more particularly in the area of chamber music. Nevertheless, he was much appreciated as a chamber music player. He played as the Amadeus Quartet's fifth player when the group's repertoire included quintet music. He also performed with the Croxford Quartet. Yet as challenging as the chamber quartet or quintet repertoire may have been, Aronowitz had a desire to make a positive change in another, even more complicated, area of classical repertoire. In 1950, he rounded up some dozen top-flight players to commit themselves to the Melos Ensemble, an expanded chamber group. The idea was to perform larger chamber works such as the Schubert and Mendelssohn octets, the Beethoven Septet and the Ravel Introduction and Allegro. As there were very few similar ensembles working regularly, the Melos Ensemble had no problem establishing itself as la leader in the performance of this type of repertoire. Yet diminishing competition was not the principal reason for the group's popularity among musicians, composers, and audiences. Aronowitz was a perfect leader, unassuming and hard to ruffle while always taking care of business. Under his supervision, the collection of brilliant players were known to produce meticulous as well as heartfelt performances. The group was heavily involved in the premiere of Britten's War Requiem in 1962, one of several pieces by the composer in which the writing for viola was designed specifically for Aronowitz. The relationship with Britten led to many other premieres of new chamber works, including Birtwistle's Tragoedia and Maxwell Davies' Seven In Nomine, both in 1965. Other members of the Melos group included violinists Emanuel Hurwitz and Ivor McMahon, cellist Terence Weil, bassist Adrian Beers, clarinetist Gervase de Peyer, and clarinetist and bassoonist William Waterhouse. The group performed regularly internationally, and toured the United States for the first but definitely not the last time in 1966. There were many broadcasts on the BBC for this group, and more than fifty recordings have been commercially released under the Melos Ensemble name. Aronowitz kept the group going following the death of close collaborator McMahon in 1972 and the departure of several others. Melos regrouped with eight original members. The ensemble gave its twenty-fifth anniversary concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, in 1975. The violist also made many appearances as a guest soloist with orchestra. He recorded Hindemith's Trauermusik for viola and strings for EMI, with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Berlioz composition Harold of Italy, with the York Symphony Orchestra, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' innovative Flos Campi, with the Jacques Orchestra and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. He also performed in the premiere of Arthur Butterworth's Suite, Op. 13, for viola and cello in London in 1951. Read less
Browse 1-12 of 12 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Rias Amadeus Quartet Recordings, Vol. 3: Mozart
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21427 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Heinrich Geuser,  Cecil Aronowitz
    CD: $58.99
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  • 2.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 3.
    Britten The Performer - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922102 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  John Tobin,  Jenny Hill,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Wandsworth School Choir  ... 
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  • 4.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $102.98
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  • 5.
    Mozart 111 [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001766872 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Emil Gilels,  Elena Gilels,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Herbert von Karajan,  Marc Minkowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 6.
    Brahms: Complete Chamber Music [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001725902 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Christian Ferras,  Pierre Barbizet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet,  Hagen String Quartet,  Amadeus String Quartet
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    CD: $61.49
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  • 7.
    The Very Best Of Janet Baker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94717 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Duruflé  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Timothy Hugh,  John Butt,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Philip Ledger  ... 
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  • 8.
    British Composers - Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Holst
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95433 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gerald Finzi,  Arnold Bax,  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  David Van Asch,  Nigel Perrin,  Robin Doveton,  John Eaton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christopher Finzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Icon - Melos Ensemble
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 18414 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Lamar Crowson,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Manoug Parikian  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London Members,  Melos Ensemble London
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  • 10.
    Holst: Songs For Voice & Violin, Part-songs, Terzetto, Canons, Choruses / Pears, Purcell Singers
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4802328 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Viola Tunnard,  Peter Pears,  Norbert Brainin,  Cecil Aronowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Imogen Holst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Singers,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Brahms Complete Edition [46-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001302602 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Edith Mathis,  Karl Engel,  Gernot Kahl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Günther Jena,  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Chorus,  LaSalle String Quartet,  Amadeus String Quartet  ... 
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  • 12.
    Yehudi Menuhin - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64131 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Lili Boulanger,  Ernest Bloch,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Ferguson Webster,  Derek Simpson,  Robert Masters  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  John Pritchard,  George Enescu,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 13.
    Music For Strings - Elgar, Delius, Bridge, Britten, Purcell
    Label: London/Decca British Collection   Catalog: 425160 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Benjamin Britten,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Bernard Richards,  Emanuel Hurwitz
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Vaughan Williams - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 06636 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies
    Performer:  Norma Burrowes,  Ian Partridge,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Raimund Herincx  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Meredith Davies,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 15.
    Ireland: Sextet, Trios, Sonatas / Neaman, Parkin, De Peyer
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2271 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  John Ireland
    Performer:  Yfrah Neaman,  Eric Parkin,  Gervase de Peyer,  André Navarra  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London
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    On sale! $33.98
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  • 16.
    Imogen Holst Conducts Gustav Holst
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 223 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Cecil Aronowitz,  Emanuel Hurwitz,  Kenneth Sillito,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Imogen Holst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    The Cologne Years / Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 2160 Release Date: 11/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Cecil Aronowitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet
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  • 18.
    The Most Relaxing Chamber Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33603 Release Date: 10/04/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Collins,  Christopher Van Kampen,  Ian Brown,  Bruno Schneider  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Cherubini String Quartet,  Eroica Trio  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Bruckner, Smetana, Verdi / Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775739 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Siegmund Nissel,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Norbert Brainin,  Peter Schidlof  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Mozart: The String Quintets / Aronowitz, Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 000402702 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Norbert Brainin,  Siegmund Nissel,  Peter Schidlof,  Martin Lovett  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet
    On sale! $37.99
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  • 21.
    British Music Collection - Elgar / Britten, Marriner, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 473249 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Alison Hagley,  Della Jones,  Peter Pears  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Rodney Bashford,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Welsh National Opera Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Grenadier Guards Band  ... 
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  • 22.
    Brahms: Complete String Quartets, Etc / Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000120602 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Cecil Aronowitz,  William Pleeth,  Karl Leister,  Georg Donderer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 23.
    Original Masters - Amadeus Quartet - 1950s Mozart Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085302 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Cecil Aronowitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet
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  • 24.
    Brahms: String Sextets 1 & 2 / Menuhin, Masters, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74957 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Robert Masters,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Ernst Wallfisch  ... 
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  • 25.
    Ravel: Shéhérazade; Schumann, Chausson, Duparc, Et Al / Baker, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 68667 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Henri Duparc,  Robert Schumann,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Dame Janet Baker,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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