Floriel Von Reuter was an accomplished violinist. Although he was an American boy, he primarily performed as a prodigy in Europe. As a boy a photograph shows that he wore an elegant kneepants sailor suit with long stockings. It had a button blouse with a white short waist underneath. A cancelled British postcard was dated 1905, but Floriel looks to be about 10 years old. Florizel was born Florizel Reuter on January 21, 1890 in Davenport, Iowa. His father was a musician and
minor composer named Jacob Reuter. His first professional concert was in La Chaux-de-Fonds
in Switzerland in about 1900. This was presumably at about the same time the photograph was taken.
Florizel was born Florizel Reuter January 21, 1890 in Davenport, Iowa. His father was a musician and minor composer named Jacob Reuter.
We know nothing about his childhood in Iowa.
Florizel was a child prodigy and began violin lessons with his mother Grace Reuter. He began additional studies in London in 1899. His teachers were Max Bendix, Emile Sauret (who also taught Jacob Reuter), Caesar Thompson and Henri Marteau. He graduated from the
Geneva Conservatory in July of 1901. He writes in his book Great People I Have Known that there was a dispute among the faculty at the Conservatory over whether he should be allowed to graduate. This was settled when several faculty members refused to
graduate anyone unless he was allowed.
His first professional concert was in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland in about 1900 when he would have been 10 years old. After giving 30 concerts in Switzerland, he toured the United States. This tour was arranged in 1902. I have no further information on his experiences as a child prodigy.
We have little information on the clothes he wore as a boy. Our infornation is limited to one photograph. As a boy, a photograph shows that he wore an elegant kneepants sailor suit with long stockings. It had a button blouse with a white short waist underneath. He seems to have worn natuarally currly hair although cit well short of his shoulders.
Most of his early career was spent performing and teaching in Europe. For example, he was Director of the Zurich Music Academy sometime around 1916 or 1917 and he was Professor of Violin and the Vienna Music Academy from 1931-1933. My understanding is that the von was added to his name while he was residing in Germany. I'm not sure why he remained in Germany for so may years. Presumably the apprecaition for for arts was greater in Europe than America at the time. One HBC contributor notes that he read some short comment by him about Paganinni, so he clearly became a rather important violin virtuoso, after being a musical prodigy. While retaining his American citizenship remained in Europe until the late-1940s, living for much of the time in Berlin. He must have had some interesting experiences during the NAZI and war years.
He returned to the United States after World War II. He eventually settled in Waukesha Wisconsin where he acted as concert master for the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra. In Waukesha, he continued to teach until the early 1980s.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he staged a series of "farewell performances". Our source, Joseph Boxhorn, attended two of these and his wife also attended several. Von Reuter died in his sleep on May 10, 1985.
HBC is most grateful to Joseph Boxhorn, who provided most of the information used here.
His wife was a violin student of the adult von Reuter and remained in contact with both him and his wife until their deaths.
HBC has not yet been able to read von Reuters autobiography, Great People I Have Known. Based on his experiences, it sounds like it would be an interesting read.
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