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Hephzibah Menuhin

Hephzibah Menuhin had a stellar career as a pianist, but a visit to Theresienstadt in 1947 drew her to a new calling as a human rights activist. Privately educated by her parents, Menuhin was fluent in seven languages and gave her first piano recital in 1928 at age eight. Five years later, she and her brother Yehudi won the Candide prize for their recording of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in A. While the pair performed internationally to great acclaim, Menuhin’s parents limited her professional appearances to pressure her to marry. She married in 1938 and briefly put aside her career to settle down with an Australian manufacturer. After her divorce, she reunited with her brother and they began performing together again in 1947. That year, she visited Theresienstadt and was moved to begin working for human rights. In 1955 she married sociologist Robert Hauser and moved to England, where they founded the Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities and began running a human rights refuge out of their house. In 1977 she became president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She continued performing with her brother until 1979.

Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin, 1951
Full image

Hephzibah and her brother Yehudi Menuhin in Australia in 1951.
Courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland/Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth
May 20, 1920
Place of Birth
San Francisco, California
Date of Death
January 1, 1981

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Hephzibah Menuhin." (Viewed on March 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/menuhin-hephzibah>.


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