(bSatu-Mare, 9 Sept 1946). Israeli violinist of Romanian birth. She studied at the Rabin Academy in Tel-Aviv, and then in the USA as a protégée of Isaac Stern. She also worked with Josef Gingold at Indiana University (1966–7), and with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School (1967–9). She won the 1968 Paganini International Competition at Genoa, and the 1971 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition at Brussels. Her prizewinning performance of the Sibelius concerto on the latter occasion was subsequently issued as a recording, and was praised for a maturity of approach and vibrant expression reminiscent of Ginette Neveu. Her New York recital début was in 1969, and her British début was at Windsor Castle in 1971. In 1986 she joined the faculty of Indiana University, where she gave the first performance of Donald Erb's Together Forever: Three Poems (1988) and recorded his violin concerto. She has toured widely, and is admired for intelligent and perceptive musicianship as well as spirited brilliance of technique.
M.Campbell: ‘Miriam Fried’, The Strad, lxxxiii (1972–3), 83–91
(b Berlin, 1 Aug 1871; d Moscow, 5 July 1941). German composer and conductor. After a poor education as a wind player in Nowawes near Potsdam, Fried moved in 1889 to Frankfurt, where he received his first important engagement as a horn player in the Palmgarten Orchestra. He soon became a member of the orchestra of the Opernhaus and began composition lessons with Humperdinck. Fried composed an orchestral fantasy based on Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel and also made piano and orchestral arrangements of the work for Schott. After a period of travelling, Fried returned in 1898 to Berlin, where in 1904 he came to public attention with the première of his Das trunkene Lied under Muck in a concert of the Wagnerverein. He also quickly became popular as a conductor. The success of his first concert with the Sternscher Gesangverein, performing Liszt's Heilige Elisabeth, led to his appointment as conductor of the Neue Konzerte in 1905. His performance of Mahler's Symphony no.2 that year contributed substantially to establishing the work in the repertory. (Mahler, a friend of Fried, commented that he could not have performed its Scherzo any better.) As conductor of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Berlin after 1907 and the Blüthner-Orchester after 1908, Fried introduced more of Mahler's works and also works by Busoni, Delius, Skryabin, Schoenberg and Strauss, among others. He was admired among his contemporaries for his strict discipline and knowledge of orchestral instruments. In 1913 he gave up composition entirely and devoted himself to a conducting career. He emigrated to Tbilisi in 1934 and devoted himself enthusiastically to music-making as an opera conductor in the new Soviet state; in 1935 he conducted 75 concerts throughout the Union, inspired by a desire to bring music to the people. He became a Soviet citizen in 1941.
Fried's early works include an important setting (1901) of Dehmel's Verklärte Nacht for soloists and orchestra, but his talent as a composer was fully recognized with Das trunkene Lied, which set a poem from Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra. Contemporaries viewed Das trunkene Lied as one of the first truly successful choral pieces for almost a century, admiring its religiosity and orchestral brilliance within its tonally and formally conservative, post-Wagnerian framework. Fried continued to compose for voice, having most success with Erntelied of 1904, in which he returned to one of Dehmel's poems. In this work and Die Auswanderer (1913) Fried displayed his interest in social problems.
Opera: Die vernarrte Prinzess (O.J. Bierbaum), unperf., unpubd
Vocal orch: Verklärte Nacht (R. Dehmel), op.9, Mez, T, orch (1901); Das trunkene Lied (F. Nietzsche), op.11, S, A, B, chorus, orch (1904); Erntelied (Dehmel), op.15, male chorus, orch (1904); Die Auswanderer (E. Verhaeren, trans. S. Zweig), spkr, orch (1913)
Orch: Fantasie über Motive aus ‘Hänsel und Gretel’ (1895); Adagio und Scherzo, op.2, 13 wind, 2 hp, timp (1905); Praeludium und Doppelfuge, op.10, str (1902)
Other works: 3 zweistimmige Gesänge, op.8, Mez, Bar, pf, 1902; lieder, female choruses
Principal publishers: Bote & Bock, Breitkopf & Härtel, Hainauer
‘Rinnerungen an Mahler’, Musikblätter des Anbruch, i (1919), 16–18
MGG1 (H. Becker)
P.Bekker: Oskar Fried: sein Werden und Schaffen (Berlin, 1907)
P.Stefan: Oskar Fried: das Werden eines Künstlers (Berlin, 1910; Eng. trans. 1911)
R.Stephan: ‘Gustav Mahler und Oskar Fried’, Unbekannte Briefe, ed. H. Blaukopf (Vienna, 1983), 47–60
G.Pantielev: ‘Russische Quellen zum Exil deutscher Dirigenten in der Sowjetunion 1933–1945’, Musik in der Emigration 1933–1945: Verfolgung, Vertreibung, Rückwirkung, ed. H. Weber (Stuttgart, 1994), 175–82