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.

The Arthur Hartmann Project

These pages are a gateway to the life, times, and musical works of turn-of-the-century American composer Arthur Hartmann. We intend for this site to be a global clearinghouse that will let fans, students, and scholars alike discover this forgotten American master.

Frederick Slutsky Arts

exclusive representatives for Arthur Greene, Solomia Soroka, and other world-class artists, proudly supports the research, recordings, and performances of the Arthur Hartmann Project

Recent Comments

Emilia on Who was Arthur Hartmann?

My grandfather was Arthur Hartmann’s first cousin, and I can tell you that Mate Szalka most certainly does exist (I have been there). It’s a fair-sized town in northeastern Hungary. While Arthur Hartmann was indeed born in Philadelphia, his father either was born or lived for a time in Mate Szalka.
–Joan Hartman (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

I was the Administrator of the Estate of Arthur Hartmann. I gave his memorabilia to the Free Library of Philadelphia, which included three volumes of critically acclaimed reviews of his performances, letters to and from musical personalities, compositions, written articles and a large poster and program of a Recital in Paris in 1914 given by Hartmann and Claude Debussy with Hartmann’s name five times the size of Debussy’s. There is a lengthy interview of Hartmann in the book Violin Mastery by Frederick Martens, which include among others, interviews of Heifetz, Kreisler and Elman. In his later years, he was the first violinist of the Hartmann Quartet which performed to critical acclaim. A descendent, Miriam Hartman, is the Principal Violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Thank you for posting this information. I intend to write a micro profile of Hartmann for my blog – Pronetoviolins. I had not heard of Hartmann until now. I trust this information is reliable. If the date of the Paris recital can be exactly ascertained, I would be most grateful. Thanks.


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