The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson

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Atlas & Company, 2009 - History - 216 pages
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To a musician, his instrument is a partner, an extension of himself. Frances Brent explores the fate of Lev Aronson and the prized instruments that passed through his hands as a way of understanding what was lost and preserved during the Holocaust. Born in Germany, but raised in Russia and Latvia, Aronson traveled through the music world of Europe with great expectations and encountered its cultural collapse first hand.

In the Riga Ghetto and in German concentration camps Aronson is forced to reshape his own identity in order to survive. He loses his lover but marries a young dancer who helps him rebuild his life as a musician. In the camps, he think-sings the concertos he knows from memory, establishing a sense of time and patience that gives him the strength to survive. After the war, he became the principal cellist in the Dallas symphony, renowned worldwide as a teacher of cello.

Brent paints a moving portrait of a Jewish musician who transcended his own personal losses to transmit the culture of musical Europe to a generation of Americans.

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The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson

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Poet and translator Brent (The Beautiful Lesson of the I) gives readers a beautifully meditative account of a Holocaust survivor and cellist, Lev Aronson, and the musical instruments that were like ... Read full review


Lost Cellos
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About the author (2009)

Frances Brent was the co-translator of Beyond the Limit: Poems by Irina Ratushinsakya. Her book of poetry, The Beautiful Lesson of the I , was the winner of the May Swenson Award. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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