Violinist Israel Baker, a leading soloist in Los Angeles in the
1960s, died on Christmas Day at the age of 92. Born in Chicago,
Baker got his first concertmaster post with the Dayton (Ohio)
Philharmonic. A year later he was hired by Stokowski to join the
All-American Youth Orchestra, and became its concertmaster at the
age of 22. After the war, Baker worked in New York for contractor
Phil Kahgan, who then brought him to Los Angeles and the Hollywood
film studios. Among the many movies Baker worked on was Hitchcock's
Psycho, with its famous score by Bernard Herrmann.
In Los Angeles he formed a duo partnership with Menuhin's pianist sister Yaltah, and was also concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Symphony Orchestra. He collaborated with Heifetz and Piatigorsky in their celebrated series of concerts and recordings of such works as Mendelssohn's Octet and Brahms's Sextet op.36. Among the other highlights of Baker's discography are his recordings of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, with Stravinsky conducting, Schoenberg's Phantasy for Violin and Piano with Glenn Gould, and Schoenberg's Violin Concerto.