Russian violinist (b. 21 March/2 April 1851 in Taganrog; d. 22 January 1929 in Manchester) born Adolf Davidovich Brodsky (Адольф Давыдович Бродский).
Son of the violinist David Brodsky, Adolph took up the instrument even before his fifth birthday, soon becoming a pupil of Joseph Hellmesberger (1828–1893) at the Vienna Conservatory. He began his professional career as a lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1875–1878), and subsequently professor at the Leipzig Conservatory (1883–1891), where he established the Brodsky Quartet. In 1882 he married Anna Skadowskaya at Sevastopol in the Crimea.
In 1891 he travelled to the United States to serve as first violinist of the New York Symphony Orchestra (1891–1894) under Walter Damrosch. In 1895 he returned to Europe, where he accepted an invitation from Sir Charles Hallé to teach at the recently-founded Royal Manchester College of Music in England, and to lead the Hallé Orchestra. Hallé died shortly after the Brodskys' arrival in Manchester, and Brodsky took over as principal of the College—a position which he held until his death. He also founded a series of chamber concerts by the quartet that still bears his name.
It was in 1881, after Leopold Auer had rejected Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Op. 35 (1878) as too difficult to play, that the composer was greatly impressed when Brodsky took on the task of premiering the work to a hostile Viennese audience; consequently, Tchaikovsky withdrew the original dedication to Auer, and gave it to Brodsky instead. During his foreign tours in the late 1880s, Tchaikovsky frequently visited Adolph and his wife Anna at their home in Leipzig, where he encountered Johannes Brahms and Edvard Grieg.
Tchaikovsky's works dedicated to Adolph Brodsky:
Tchaikovsky's correspondence with Adolph Brodsky:
This page was last updated on 14 February 2013