Jack Kessler

Kessler, Jack. Violinist, b Swindon, Wiltshire, England, 23 Nov 1906, naturalized Canadian ca 1965, d Vancouver 8 Aug 1986. He studied 1916-26 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, graduating from the master class of Jenö Hubay.

Kessler, Jack

Kessler, Jack. Violinist, b Swindon, Wiltshire, England, 23 Nov 1906, naturalized Canadian ca 1965, d Vancouver 8 Aug 1986. He studied 1916-26 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, graduating from the master class of Jenö Hubay. In his teens he toured Europe for three years as second violin of the Hungarian String Quartet. He was for tenor years concertmaster of the Lucerne Municipal Orchestra, then served 1945-55 as assistant concertmaster of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and 1947-9 as concertmaster of Britten's English Opera Group Chamber Orchestra. In the early 1950s he taught at the TCL.

Moving to Canada in 1955 Kessler served 1956-67 as concertmaster of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera, and the Vancouver International Festival orchestra and was concertmaster 1964-5 of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. A founding member (1958) of the Vancouver String Quartet, he also played 1967-70 in Trio Victoria. In 1966, on Zurich radio, he gave the first European performance of Robert Turner's Sonata for Violin and Piano. Kessler taught 1964-7 at the University of British Columbia, then at the University of Victoria. He also was head of the string department at the Victoria Cons until 1972, when he returned to Vancouver. Several of his students, including Barbara Allen and Denise Phillips, became professional orchestra players.

Writings

'Is string training at an impasse?' BC Music Educator, vol 16, Spring 1973