Very little information has been found concerning Emily Gresser, who apparently was an accomplished virtuoso violinist at a young age. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she received her musical education in Europe. A 1913 article in the Yiddish periodical Di Tsukunft referred to her recent successes in Germany. According to that report, she had performed as a soloist with an orchestra in Berlin under the baton of the legendary Ferruccio Busoni. The Tsukunft piece, which was devoted to a discussion of Jewish or Jewish-born violinists who were already in or soon to join the pantheon of the giants of the instrument, presented her in the company of such esteemed artists as Mischa Elman, Efram Zimbalist, Joseph Joachim, Henryk [Henri] Wieniawski, Fritz Kreisler, and the young Jascha Heifetz. Her photograph in that article suggests a woman between fifteen and twenty years old, which would indicate her birth sometime in the late 19th century. What course her life and her career took after 1913—or how or why she came to compose a work of Jewish connection—has not been established.
By: Neil W. Levin