Arthur HartmannHungarian-American composer Arthur Hartmann was one of the original faculty members of the Eastman School of Music and a friend and confidant of Claude Debussy. On these pages you’ll read violinist Solomia Soroka and pianist Arthur Greene‘s fascinating insights into the composer, as well as their performances of Hartmann’s inspired creations . . . both his original compositions and his arrangements of works by Debussy and other composers. Courtesy of the Sibley Library at the Eastman School, here’s the official “thumbnail biography” of Arthur Hartmann:

Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956) was born on July 23, 1881 in Philadelphia, although later in life he would persist in claiming to have been born in the town of Mate Szalka, Hungary. (The town does not exist.) A child prodigy on the violin, he made his debut in Philadelphia in 1887. His career as a concert artist brought him into contact with many well-known composers and performers of his time. Most notably he became a close friend of Claude Debussy, who dedicated his transcription of Minstrels for violin and piano to Hartmann. He was a member of the founding faculty of Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York during its first academic year, 1921-22. Hartmann was very active in promoting new music for the violin, which led to a correspondence with several prominent composers in order to determine points of interpretation. Hartmann suffered financial hardship at different times during his life, which led to his sale of manuscripts and other possessions in order to raise money. He died in New York on March 30, 1956.