Roman Totenberg.(NYT)
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Master of the Strings

Violinist Roman Totenberg Is This Week’s Shivah Star

Marc Tracy
May 10, 2012
Roman Totenberg.(NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, we’re excluding those of Adam Yauch, Maurice Sendak, and Vidal Sassoon (they had a bad week, and we should suffer), because we’ve already covered them. Instead, this week it’s that of Roman Totenberg, an extremely distinguished violinist whose career intersected with many of the 20th century’s other greats, who died Tuesday at 101. (His daughter is NPR’s Nina Totenberg.) Lodz-born, he was a colleague of Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, and Yehudi Menuhin, and a teacher to a great many more. As this dispatch makes clear, he died with great grace, wishing to teach and play music until the end.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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