Sol Babitz

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Sol Babitz (11 October 1911 in Brooklyn NY - 1982 in Los Angeles) was an American violinist, teacher, writer and pioneer of historically informed performance.[1]

His education began in New York where at the age of sixteen he received the Carnegie Hall Gold Medal for violin. His later violin education included studies with Alexander Roman and Carl Flesch at the Berlin University of the Arts and with Marcel Chailley in Paris. Babitz was a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1933–37 under the conductor Otto Klemperer, and then played with the Twentieth Century Fox studio orchestra from 1946 until 1960. In the early 1950s he collaborated with the poet Peter Yates and the architect Rudolf Shindler to create a concert space on top of Yates's home where the concert series "Evenings on the Roof" introduced works by Béla Bartók, Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky. He worked with Stravinsky as concertmaster of the Ojai Festivals in the 1950s, and collaborated with him on an arrangement of Circus Polka. He played the violin part on a Columbia Broadcasting System's performance of l'Histoire du Soldat. He also created fingering for Schoenberg.

In 1948 he was a co-founder of the "Early Music Laboratory" (EML) in Los Angeles, investing considerable time in research into historical performance practice, especially the music of the 17th and 18th century. He also conducted research into historical instrumental techniques, e.g. for violin and harpsichord. He received grants for his research in the early 1960s from the Fulbright Foundation and the Ford Foundation.


  • Charles Ives: Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, mvts. ii–iii (Sol Babitz [vn] and Ingolf Dahl [pf]; for Alco label, issued c1947) [2]


  1. ^ Sol Babitz Papers (UCLA library)
  2. ^ Ives - Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano - First recording by Babitz and Dahl

External links[edit]


  • works (