JOSEPH ACHRON (1886 - 1943)
Lithuanian by birth, the violinist and composer Joseph Achron studied with Auer and Liadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory and began his career in Russia before emigrating to the United States in 1925. Two years later he gave the premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1934 he moved to Hollywood, where he continued his career as a violinist and wrote music for films.
Achron’s orchestral works include three violin concertos, the third written in 1939 for Jascha Heifetz. The first includes a movement of improvisations on Jewish Yemeni themes. His Golem Suite, performed at the ISCM Festival in Venice in 1932, reflects the rise and fall of the monster by a retrograde version of the first part in the concluding section.
Achron’s sacred music includes a setting of the Evening Service of the Sabbath.