Emanuel Vardi papers
Scope and Contents
- Vardi, Emanuel (Musician, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from Emanuel Vardi papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Emanuel Vardi was born April 21, 1917, in Jerusalem to musician parents, Joseph and Anna Jaffa Vardi, a violinist and pianist respectively. As they both taught at the Conservatory, it was only natural that by the age of three, Emanuel was receiving lessons on both instruments from his parents. The family immigrated to New York in the 1920's where Vardi's musical education continued. At seven, Vardi dropped the piano and started focused violin lessons with Joseph Borisoff, Leopold Auer, and Auer's assistant, Khusdo. At the age of twelve, in spite of his age, he was accepted at the Institute of Musical Art (later the Julliard School) where he studied under Constance Seeger. In spite of his talent, he dropped out of school for two years during which time he unsuccessfully auditioned for the Curtis Institute. Returning to Seeger's instruction, Vardi received the additional lessons necessary for a successful re-audition for the Julliard School. Ultimately, though, Vardi did not graduate from Julliard.
By 1937, Vardi had heard a recording of violist William Primrose which inspired him to discard the violin and take up serious study of the viola, something Julliard did not offer. The Metropolitan Opera offered Vardi a job, which he declined in order to study with his inspiration, William Primrose. At the time, Primrose played in the NBC Symphony as directed by Toscanini, and soon found a position for him as well. During World War II, he played in the US Navy band.
Vardi was married three times: first to Margaret Bernhard, which ended in divorce; second to Greta Mayer, producing two daughters and ending in divorce; then finally to violist/violinist Lenore Weinstock in 1984. Since then, he actively concertized across the country, wrote music for the viola and expanded its limited repertoire, recorded music, and gave master classes. In 2007, he and his wife moved to North Bend, Washington, where they soon became involved in the local arts community, culminating in the organization of the Snoqualmie Valley Music Festival in 2010. Vardi died of cancer on January 29, 2011.
Vardi's career extended beyond performing: he was a professor at Temple University, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; between 1970 and 1980; he went into producing at record labels such as Audio Fidelity and MGM as well as conducting various orchestras across the country; and in 1993, successfully established a second career as a painter after a broken wrist and torn rotator cuff forced him to put down the viola.
4 boxes (2 linear ft.)
1 oversize box (0.5 linear ft.)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Register of Emanuel Vardi papers
- Lindsay A. Weaver
- 2011 June 28
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.