Ernest Glauberson

Historic image of Florida Intergenerational Orchestra


rnest’s story is so interesting we will tell it in full, just as he wrote it down years ago.

“I have been playing violin since I was 10. My mother wanted me to learn piano, but there was no space in our tiny one-room apartment in Russia for a piano or money to buy one. I practiced while standing on the bed most of the time (away from the traffic of the grandparents). I managed to attach the music sheets to the wall! Sometimes my music teacher would visit us to wish me well and to find out why am I so sick that I can’t attend classes. It was because I’d hide the violin behind the stairs and go play soccer with my street-friends. The musical education was important in the family. My maternal Grandfather was a prominent Jewish singer with a magnificent base voice, but with no conservatory education. My maternal Grandmother was also a singer and a ballerina in the Jewish theater, with no formal education. My mother was a Russian-Jewish Shirley Temple: she was acting, singing, dancing, and bringing theater to tears at the age of 5. Of course, she was not allowed to continue as an actress, so she became a teacher. That’s why my continued musical education was so important to them all, and that’s why I couldn’t drop the classes. I graduated simultaneously from a High School and from a Music school. At this time I had to decide whether to become a musician (in line with the maternal side) and enroll in the music college or to become an engineer (like my father was) and enroll into an engineering college. Fortunately, i was allowed to make my own choice, so I became an engineer. In this way I was sure I could irritate a smaller number of people at the same time. Nevertheless I continued to play first violin in the Philharmonic under conductor J. Presich and also in the Chamber Orchestra. Unfortunately, but quite naturally, I was degrading and moving from chair to chair further and further form the concertmaster. Finally, in 1959, I quit it altogether.

Many years later, in the USA , once I shocked my little son when I played the “Happy Birthday to you” tune on the out-of-comission Russian violin. Much later, just a few years ago, I retired, moved from Washington D.C. to Florida, and made a titanic effort to recover the dead skill. Although I had my old violin from Russia, I began to use my wife’s violin, a beautiful copy of the 1728 Antonio Stradivarius. Its comfortable shape and high quality tone inspired me to practice longer and play better... up to now.