Polish-born British violinist Ida Haendel died yesterday in Miami at the age of 91 years. Haendel was one of the great musicians of the twentieth century. Born on Poland im 1928, she won the Warsaw Conservatory’s Gold Medal and the first Huberman Prize in 1933. At the age of seven she competed against Oistrakh and Neveu to become a laureate of the first Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 1935. This enabled her to study with the Carl Flesch in London and George Enescu in Paris.

The United Kingdom became her second fatherland. She made her London debut in 1937.

Haendel has made annual tours of Europe, and also appeared regularly in South America and Asia. Living in Montreal from 1952 to 1989, her collaborations with Canadian orchestras made her a key celebrity of Canadian musical life. Ida Haendel later lived in Miami, Florida for many years and was actively involved in the Miami International Piano Festival.

In 2006 she performed for Pope Benedict XVI at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. She made numerous recordings and became a famous teacher.

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