Hugo Kortschak

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Hugo Kortschak
Hugo Kortschak 1913.jpg
Hugo Kortschak
Hugo Kortschak

(1884-02-24)February 24, 1884
DiedSeptember 19, 1957(1957-09-19) (aged 73)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
CitizenshipUnited States
OrganizationChicago Symphony Orchestra
Yale University
Manhattan School of Music
Spouse(s)Alice Plaut (1884–1972)
ChildrenAlice Kortschak (1909–1995)
Hugo P. Kortschak (1911–1983)

Hugo Kortschak (28 February 1884 – 19 September 1957)[1][2] was an Austrian-born American violinist and a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1907 until 1914 (serving as assistant concertmaster from 1910 until 1914), founding member of the Berkshire String Quartet and Dean of Music at Yale University.[3][4][5][6] His son was the plant physiologist Hugo P. Kortschak.[1]

The Berkshire String Quartet was founded when music patroness Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge persuaded Kortschak to move his quartet from Chicago to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where its members could focus exclusively on chamber music. In his youth Kortschak was a member of the Pozniak-Trio founded by the Polish Pianist Bronislaw Pozniak (de). Kortschak was an owner of several fine violins, including:

Kortschak was a key figure in organizing the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival founded by Coolidge. The original Berkshire String Quartet disbanded sometime after 1941.


Kortschak is a recipient of the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal for "eminent services to chamber music."


  1. ^ a b c "Hugo Kortschak". 11 November 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ Obituaries: "Hugo Kortschak", September 20, 1957
        New York Times
        Los Angeles Times, pg. 18
        Honolulu Advertiser, pg. B7, col. 1
  3. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Kortschak is in Vol. 3 of 6), Macmillan; Schirmer
        6th ed., Slonimsky (ed.) (1978); OCLC 4426869
        7th ed., Slonimsky (ed.) (1984); OCLC 10574930
        8th ed., Slonimsky (ed.) (1992); OCLC 24246972
  4. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, Nicolas Slonimsky (ed), Schirmer (1997); OCLC 36111932
  5. ^ Biography Index, H.W. Wilson Co.; ISSN 0006-3053
        Vol. 1: Jan. 1946–Jul. 1949 (1949)
        Vol. 4: Sep. 1955–Aug. 1958 (1960)
  6. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, (Mata is in Vol. 3 of 4), H. Wiley Hitchcock & Stanley Sadie (eds.), Macmillan Publishers (1986); (see Oxford Music Online); OCLC 13184437, OCLC 230202868
  7. ^ "The Violin I Use, and Why I Like It", The Violinist, Chicago: Violinist Publishing Company, Vol. 17, No. 3, June 1914, pg. 25,; OCLC 1769147