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Michael Press

Mikhail (Moisej) Isaakovich Press, also known as Michael Press, (Russian: Михаил Исаакович Пресс; 29 August 1871, in Vilnius, Lithuania – 22 December 1938, in Lansing, Michigan) was a Russian-American violinist, conductor and music educator.

Press began studying violin with Tissen at the age of eight in Vilnius, and made his first public appearance at ten years old. At the age of thirteen he was concert master in the Vilna Opera House. For some years he was conductor of the Karatayev Opera Company, travelling all over Russia.

Press entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1897 studying violin with Jan Hřímalý and graduated with a gold medal in 1899. From 1901 to 1904 he was professor at the Philharmonic Society Conservatory in Moscow. Press played in chamber music ensembles and in 1905 organized the Russian Trio, a piano trio which also included his wife Vera Maurina as pianist (graduate of Moscow Conservatory), and his brother Joseph Press (Иосиф Пресс, 1881–1924), a gifted cellist.

From 1915 to 1918, Press taught at the Moscow Conservatory, succeeding Hřímalý as Professor of Violin. He narrowly escaped execution during the Russian Revolution and fled to Germany and Gothenburg, Sweden where he conducted the Gothenburg Symphony for two years.

Press migrated to the United States and made his debut in 1922. He joined the violin faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1924 and served as Carl Flesch's assistant for one year. In the 1920s, he was a member of the Old Masters Trio with cellist Leo Schulz. He taught at Michigan State College in East Lansing, Michigan from 1928–1938. During summers of 1935 until 1938, Press was a member of the music faculty at the Bay View Association, Bay View, Michigan, as a teacher, soloist, and chamber musician. Press was also a composer and conductor. He was guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Among Press' students were Vadim Borisovsky, Dorothy DeLay and Mary Canberg.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 22nd, 1871, Died December 22nd, 1938

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1930

Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CVE-34072 12-in. 12/29/1925 Minuetto, nos. 1 and 2 Jascha Heifetz Violin solo, with piano arranger  
Victor BVE-36126 10-in. 8/23/1926 Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" Hart House String Quartet String quartet arranger  
Victor BVE-36127 10-in. 8/24/1926 Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" Hart House String Quartet String quartet arranger  
Victor BVE-45081 10-in. 5/31/1928 Vocalise Mischa Elman Violin solo, with piano arranger  
Victor CVE-58668 12-in. 2/19/1930 Slavischer tanz Yehudi Menuhin Violin solo, with piano arranger  
Victor CVE-58669 12-in. 2/19/1930 Slavischer tanz Yehudi Menuhin Violin solo, with piano arranger  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Press, Michael," accessed December 7, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111476.

Press, Michael. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111476.

"Press, Michael." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 7 December 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111476

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