Joseph Schuster (1905-1969) was born in Constantinople of Russian descent. He entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music at the age of 10 to study cello.
At the time of the Russian Revolution, his family fled to Berlin where he continued his studies under Hugo Becker at the Berlin Hochschule. At the age of 17, Schuster was given the post of solo cellist in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Furtwängler, the youngest person to ever hold that position. He remained with the Berlin Philharmonic until 1934 when he moved to New York.
His New York debut was a critical sensation and he was immediately invited to become solo cellist with the New York Philharmonic. One of the many highlights of his New York Philharmonic career was on November 13, 1943 when he was scheduled to play Strauss' Don Quixote under Bruno Walter. Walter was ill that day and as a replacement, a very young Leonard Bernstein conducted in his debut with the New York Philharmonic. The audience and press went wild and Bernstein's career was launched.
In the late 1940's, Schuster decided to leave the New York Philharmonic and devote himself entirely to solo concert work. He moved his family to Beverly Hills, California in 1947 and for the rest of his career traveled both nationally and internationally giving recitals and playing with the great conductors and orchestras of the world.
Schuster performed on a 1720 Goffriller cello, an instrument formerly owned by Emanuel Feuermann. Schuster made numerous sonata and concerto recordings with well-known orchestras as well as appearing on radio and television programs.
He made nine enormously successful tours throughout Europe, Central and South America and Asia. Schuster was featured soloist under such conductors as Toscanini, Walter, Mitropoulos, Rodziñski, Solti, Kubelík, Furtwängler, Bernstein, Jochum, and von Karajan, Mehta and dozens of others.
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