Alma Moodie: From Praise to Obscurity
Australian-born violinist Alma Moodie was a celebrated performer in her day – a protégée of Carl Flesch who collaborated with many leading composers. However, her contribution to the violin canon has been largely forgotten, writes Tatjana Goldberg
Through this article, I would like to free the Australian violinist Alma Moodie from her historical shadow. For many decades she fascinated composers, managers, critics, conductors and the public alike while performing with many great European musicians and orchestras. She collaborated and associated with composers such as Bartók, Berg, Hindemith, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Szymanowski; her intimate friends included pianist and composer Eduard Erdmann, Swiss businessman and patron of the arts Werner Reinhart, poet Rainer Maria Rilke and one of the most influential violin teachers of the time, Carl Flesch. Why did this formidable roster of great figures of the musical world associate themselves with Moodie? Were they fascinated because this talented virtuosa, thriving in the masculine world of music, was a beautiful and charming woman? Or was it because of her remarkable artistry and undoubted musical personality?