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Sir Humphrey Burton

To mark the centenary of Yehudi Menuhin, the world-renowned musician and humanist, this acclaimed biography is re-published with a new introduction by the author

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Since 2000, when this biography was first published, Menuhin’s name has not faded from public attention, as often happens in the decades after the death of a popular performing artist. Far from it: the centenary of his birth, April 22, 1916, is being marked by celebrations around the world.

Yehudi Menuhin was born in New York of Russian Jewish immigrants. Prodigiously gifted, the ‘Miracle Boy’ gave his first solo recital aged eight and within five years was world-famous.

Menuhin was a visionary individualist, who didn’t mind shocking the establishment. His post-war support for the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and his determination to build bridges with the defeated German nation, brought him into sharp conflict with the Jewish establishment and DPs in Berlin. Later he spoke out against apartheid in South Africa and denounced the Soviet Union’s oppressive policy towards writers and dissidents.

Drawing on contemporary sources, unpublished family correspondence and radio interviews, Burton creates a compelling portrait of an extraordinary human being – one of the best-loved classical musicians of the twentieth century.

Critic Reviews

An important reappraisal of the last century's greatest violinist by the doyen of musical biographers.

Critic Reviews

Highly readable and timely ...Burton places himself at arm's length, dealing frankly with the failings and difficulties, musical and domestic, as well as the successes, of the man who was probably the most famous "classical" musician of the twentieth century.

Sunday Times

Humphrey Burton read Music and History at Cambridge University and entered the BBC as a sound studio manager in 1955. In 1958 he joined the ground-breaking TV arts magazine, ‘Monitor’. He has won many international awards, including three from the British Academy, four Emmies and the Italia Prize (for The Making of West Side Story). Twice in charge of Music…

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