Norbert Brainin

Norbert Brainin and Ferdinand Rauter
Violinist; born 12 March 1923 in Vienna, died 2005.


Born 12 March 1923 in Vienna, Norbert was only a teenager when he moved to London to have lessons with the violin pedagogues, Carl Flesch and Max Rostal in 1938. Although Norbert was fortunate enough to have escaped Vienna before the 'Anschluss', he did not qualify fully as a UK citizen so was required to spend time in the Isle of Man internment camp as an 'Enemy Alien'.

One of the positives to come of this was to meet Siegmund Nissel and Peter Schidlof, his future chamber music partners in the Amadeus Quartet. Once out of the internment camp, he worked in a metal factory as a machine tool fitter, whilst also gaining recognition as a soloist. He won the inaugural Gold medal in the Carl Flesch competition of 1946.

After this success, and now with Martin Lovett as the confirmed cellist for the quartet, Norbert was able to enjoy 40 remarkable years as the first violinist in the Amadeus Quartet as well as being a successful teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and the Hochschule für Musik 'Franz Liszt' Weimar.

Links and sources

Obituary in The Guardian

Norbert Brainin in the University of Hamburg online database of musicians persecuted during the Nazi Period 

Elsewhere in this resource 

Daniel Snowman interview

Martin Lovett interview

Andrea Rauter interview

Photo: Norbert Brainin and Ferdinand Rauter, credit Andrea Rauter - family archive.

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