About Sam Marder

 

Childhood

 

            Samuel Marder was born in 1930 in Chernovitz, Rumania, now Ukraine. His parents, Berl and Esther brought him and his sister Eva up in a strictly religious environment.

            His father had a small grocery store which his mother used to refer to good-naturedly as a nonprofit organization, because father would provide people with groceries on credit knowing they could not pay for them. As a result, the store provided them with a modest livelihood. Nevertheless, Samuel and his sister Eva went to a private Hebrew school. Samuel's religious studies began at age four and his music studies at the age of six.  His first violin lessons were very unpleasant.  His teacher was a rough, nervous man who was able to communicate fear more than music but  was the only teacher the family could afford. Samuel cried during the lessons but did not tell father about his unhappy experiences.  He continued his unfortunate lessons until the Soviets annexed the city and its surroundings. Although the new regime brought new fears and insecurities to the population, and many innocent families were deported to Siberia,  Samuel was able to enter the local conservatory  as a child where lessons were free of charge. There he began  making remarkable progress, and at age ten he won a prize which made him eligible to study at the Moscow Conservatory.  He never went to Moscow, as his family did not want to send him so far from home, although no one could predict at that time the oncoming Holocaust.



War Years



           The war interrupted what was a brilliant beginning, and life changed completely. The Nazis took over Czernowitz and life became hell.  Thousands of Jews were killed in the first days.  A Ghetto was established and young Samuel and his family were soon deported to a Nazi concentration camp in Transnistria  (Ukraine), travelling part of the distance in closed cattle cars and the rest by foot.

           As they were marching through the muddy fields of Bessarabia to the camp, Samuel's violin was torn away from him by a peasant, and as he described it, the emotional pain was worse than the exhaustion, the hunger and the fear of being shot if he slowed down. The family spent three and a half years in Transnistria where Berl Marder, Sam's father, died from typhoid and starvation.

Three more years had to pass before Samuel's life took on a degree of normality and he was able to think of the violin again. That happened after the war when he, his mother and sister, after a long, trying journey, managed to arrive at Fohrenwald, a Displaced Person's Camp in Western Germany.  There he continued his studies until relatives who had arrived in the U.S.A during the first world war found out that a part of the family survived and helped them come to the United States.

 

 

Post War



           In New York, Samuel continued his musical studies at the Manhattan School of Music, obtaining his Bachelor's and Master's degrees on full scholarship, followed by post graduate studies at Teacher's College, Columbia University. 

           After graduation he toured giving concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada with Roman Totenberg, arranged by Columbia Concert Management. He served as staff violinist at the Composer's Conference & Chamber Music Center at Johnston State College in Vermont. Later, after his Alice Tully Hall recital in New York, he gave concert tours throughout Bulgaria, Spain, Finland, South Korea, Peru, Bolivia and Israel.  Samuel premiered modern works, among them the unaccompanied Violin Sonata by Ben-Haim in London and in Vienna, and he gave classes to advanced violin students during his tours in Europe, South America and Korea.

            Samuel also served as concertmaster and assistant conductor for the Leonard Bernstein Gala Orchestra.  At the recommendation of Maestro Leopold Stokowski, he auditioned for and took on the position of concertmaster of the Russian Moiseyev Ballet Orchestra on their first tour throughout the U.S. and Canada. Later he became concertmaster of the National Ballet of Washington D.C.  He also played as solo violinist for Dame Margot Fonteyn on her tours throughout the United States and Canada. During his association with the American Symphony Orchestra, he conducted the American Symphony String Ensemble and the International Artists Alliance Ensemble for several seasons.   

            During his many years of  performing in Spain and after considerable research at the Royal Escorial Library, he transcribed 20 Harpsichord Sonatas from the 18th century into works for Violin and Piano and also transcribed Manuel de Falla works for violin and piano.  They are now in De Falla's private library in Madrid at the request of the composer’s family.

He also composed a  Sicilienne and Allegro for piano in style of the 18th century.

            Samuel Marder's music works and their publihers are:

Sonatas del Escorial, by Mundimusica of Madrid in 1996.

Pachelbel Canon,  by C.F. Peters of Berlin - New York, in 2000.

Three Dances of Spain, by International Publishing Company of New York, in 2001. Three Sonatas From The Royal Escorial, dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain, published by International Music Co., in 2005.

 

Talks



            Mr. Marder  gives many talks as a volunteer for schools and at the YMHA and for other groups on prejudice and its consequences. 



Writings. 



            In Yiddish he published in the Algemeiner Journal in New York, in Afn Shvel, and  in the Forward.  He also  translated Yiddish  poems into English in a book  by Dr. Eliyahu Sela ,"M'transnistria L'israel, " about Jacob Friedman’s poetry, published in Jerusalem by the Leyvik Farlag, in 2003.

            His present book,  "Devils among Angels" is published by IDW Publications and is subtitled  "A Journey from Paradise and Hell to Life." His childhood memories and his holocaust experiences are autobiographica.  The rest of the book comprises observations on life written in both nonfiction and fiction short stories and poems.