Erica Morini


Born: January 5, 1904; Vienna, Austria   Died: November, 1995; New York, NY  
Erica Morini was one of the last of the important violinists trained completely in the Austro-German tradition. Although she enjoyed considerable popular success and won the admiration of fellow violinists, she felt that she had been discriminated against by many impresarios and excluded from certain opportunities she felt she had earned. Her particular sound, somewhat straighter and more direct than that of other players, deteriorated early; by Read more her late fifties, there was a noticeable falling-off in both her technique and tone quality. She died a recluse in New York, remembered well only by those who survived from an earlier generation.

Morini, though of Viennese birth, was descended from an Italian family. Her father, Oscar Morini, had been born in Trieste, but later become a Kapellmeister and eventually a respected violin teacher in his adopted city. Erica Morini's sisters were also musical, one playing the violin, the other the piano. Morini thus grew up in a devotedly musical family atmosphere. Although she was attracted to the piano, her father believed her destined to become a violinist. After only two year's study with her father, the five-year-old Morini was presented in performance at the palace of the Austrian emperor. She was placed behind a screen and introduced as one of the country's greatest artists. Impressed, the emperor went to offer his congratulations and found himself facing a child. Offered any gift she wished, Morini chose a life-sized doll as a reward.

At the age of seven, Morini was sent by her father to Otakar Sevcik at the Vienna Conservatory. The famous pedagogue (whose later teaching methods were controversial) was quick to recognize her gifts. "She knows all that cannot be taught," was his comment. The following year, she completed the master course at the Conservatory and made her Vienna concert debut. Her success resulted in the addition of six more programs that very year and her orchestral debuts with conductor Artur Nikisch in both Leipzig and Berlin. Soon thereafter, Morini undertook a successful recital tour through Romania, Hungary, and Poland.

Her fame grew to the point at which, in 1920, she was the Vienna Philharmonic's only soloist during Festival Week. In January 1921, she made her first appearance in the United States, with the New York Philharmonic under Artur Bodanzky. Her glowing reviews and subsequent tour of the country attracted a host of devoted followers. Morini returned to Europe to tour much of that continent, adding Australia and Russia to her previous conquests.

Some of her most profound collaborations were with conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, with whom she first appeared in Leipzig in 1927, performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto. The next year, she played the Mozart A major Concerto with Furtwängler in Berlin. Her final performance with the conductor took place in 1931 when she played the Glazunov Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic. Morini, who was Jewish, stopped performing in Germany in 1933, following the Nazi rise to power.

A return to America in 1935 found Morini winning even more enthusiastic reviews than in 1921. Critics cited her greater maturity and the balance she had struck in her art. Olin Downes commented, "Nothing was insignificant, nothing was out of proportion." During World War II, Morini remained in the United States, appearing with all of the principal American orchestras and enjoying a particularly close relationship with Bruno Walter. She was heard at her best in music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Read less
Browse 1-11 of 11 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Russian Visionaries: From Glinka to the Firebird
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 164 Release Date: 06/30/2017  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Mily Balakirev  ... 
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Konstantin Igumnov,  Alfred Hoehn,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Wilhelm Buschkotter,  Issay Dobrowen,  Oskar Fried  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nanyang Polytechnic Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $194.99
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  • 3.
    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! $119.98
    CD: $118.49
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  • 4.
    Erica Morini Plays Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Tartini, Vivaldi, Kreisler, Wieniawski
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95606 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Henri Wieniawski
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Michael Raucheisen
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Violin Concerto K 219 / Grumiaux, Morini, Milstein, Schneiderhan
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 713062 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Erica Morini,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Bernhard Paumgartner,  George Szell,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozart Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 6.
    Erica Morini, Vol 1
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7762 Release Date: 07/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Traditional,  Tivadar Nachéz  ... 
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Charlton Keith,  Michael Raucheisen,  Alice Morini  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Historic Telecasts / George Szell
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4222 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hector Berlioz,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Erica Morini
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 8.
    Great Violinists - Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1964
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4215 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Ruggiero Ricci,  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    DVD: $38.99
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  • 9.
    Legendary Treasures - Erica Morini Vol 3 - Beethoven, Et Al
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7783 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Miklos Schwalb
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Westminster - Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Morini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471200 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Erica Morini
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Legendary Treasures - Erica Morini Vol 2 - Live & Studio
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7772 Release Date: 12/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Erica Morini
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $18.99
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