Web site: http://www.deccaclassics.com/artists/haendel/biog.html
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Born: 15 December, 1924 Chelm, Poland
After studies in her native Poland, Ida Haendel and her family settled in London where she continued her studies with Carl Flesch. Haendel is that rare child prodigy who matured into an important adult artist. Her London debut was in 1937 playing the Beethoven Concerto with Sir Henry Wood. Very soon thereafter (1940) she signed an exclusive Decca recording contract, one of the first classical artists in the company's history.
Haendel and her family remained in England during WWII and the young Ida played for the troops throughout the country. Though Haendel recorded prolifically during the war years, very little of her output was known outside the UK owing to wartime economies and isolation and so in 1946, Haendel 'hit the road' for the first time with an American tour. This began a love affair with North America that has lasted until today. Haendel lived for many years in Canada and currently divides her time between London and Miami, Florida.
Ida Haendel is arguably the very last of a breed of violinist trained in the traditions of the 19th century. She combines a freedom of expression that can be found in an earlier generation of players including Huberman and Enescu (with whom she studied) with a modern and formidable technique, still assured in the eighth decade of her career! She is arguably a 'violinist's violinist, adored by her colleagues and sought out by conductors such as Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Haendel's earlier Decca recordings have been reissued and a new disc of sonatas with Ashkenazy as pianist was released recently.