Toscha Seidel

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Toscha Seidel

Toscha Seidel (November 17, 1899 – November 15, 1962) was a Russian virtuoso violinist, born in Odessa. A student of Leopold Auer in St. Petersburg, Seidel became known for a lush, romantic tone and unique and free rubato. In the 1930s he emigrated to the United States, making his way to Hollywood where he made a career in the studios of motion pictures. He was featured (as soloist) in several Hollywood productions, including the movies Intermezzo, Apomethe, [1] and Melody for Three [2]. He was also an avid chess player (like Mischa Elman).

In 1934 Seidel gave violin instruction to Albert Einstein, and received a sketch in return, reportedly diagramming length contraction of his theory of relativity [3] [4].

Seidel performed on violins by Antonio Stradivari "Da Vinci" 1712 (now known as the Ex-Seidel), Giovanni Battista Guadagnini 1786 (now known as the Ex-Seidel), as well as copy of the "Alard Stradivari" by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume 1860.


  • "The boy (Jascha Heifetz) was one of those in a group of young Jewish violinists who later startled the world. The others would include Mischa Elman, Tosha Seidel, Efrem Zimbalist and Nathan Milstein." —New York Times by Harold Schonberg, Published: December 12, 1987
  • New York Evening Post of 22 June 1918:

‘OVER THE CHESS BOARD Capablanca Conceives Morphy-like Combination in Game Played Against Professor Fonaroff By H. Helms A lightweight classic that will take rank with some of Paul Morphy’s was produced by José R. Capablanca Tuesday, when, as a guest at a soirée in the apartments of Prof. Marc Fonaroff, of the New York Institute of Musical Art, he played a game of chess against that master musician. There was present a notable group of artists, including Tosha [Toscha] Seidel, the violin prodigy, who, like Mischa Elman, is very fond of chess, and Mr and Mrs Leon Rosen, who, fortunately, took and preserved the score for the benefit of posterity. The game follows.

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