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Vera Fonaroff

An exceptional violinist and a member of the acclaimed, women-only Olive Mead Quartet, Vera Fonaroff believed that music could bridge any social divide. Fonaroff immigrated to America at age seven and debuted as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera House Orchestra at age nine. She later studied with Adolph Brodsky at the Royal Manchester College of Music, toured England as a soloist, and took part in lecture-recitals with George Bernard Shaw. After returning to New York, Fonaroff joined the Olive Mead Quartet in 1909 as second violinist, performing with them until they disbanded in 1923. The string quartet was highly regarded for premiering new works by modern composers and for proving the skill of female musicians. From 1924–1930 Fonaroff served as director of violin instruction at the school later known as Juilliard and taught at the school from 1926–1939 and 1948–1955, making several innovations to violin pedagogy. She also taught at the Henry Street Settlement Music School, among others, and the Mannes College of Music, where she worked until her death.

More on: Music
Date of Birth
June 14, 1883
Place of Birth
Date of Death
July 23, 1962

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Vera Fonaroff ." (Viewed on January 18, 2018) <>.


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