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Fritz Kreisler

Born Feb. 2, 1875, Vienna, Austria
Died Jan. 29, 1962, New York, N.Y

At age seven Kreisler entered the Vienna Conservatory, and from 1885 to 1887 he studied composition and violin at the Paris Conservatory. After a successful concert tour of the United States (1888-89), he returned to Vienna to study medicine. He subsequently studied art in Paris and Rome and served as an officer in the Austrian army. In 1899 he returned to the stage as a concert violinist and became one of the most successful virtuosos of his time.

After 1915 he lived mainly in the United States but continued to tour widely in Europe. His concert programs frequently included many short pieces by him, among them "Caprice viennois" ("Viennese Caprice") and "Schön Rosmarin" ("Pretty Rosemary Plant"). His Classical Manuscripts, published as his arrangements of works by Antonio Vivaldi, François Couperin, Johann Stamitz, Padre Martini, and others, were admitted in 1935 to be works of his own.

In 1936 Paramount asked Dorothy Fields to set lyrics to four Kreisler melodies for the Grace Moore film The King Steps Out. One song Stars In My Eyes became a hit. Dorothy did not actually meet Kreisler at this time; the only contact between them was the briefest of appreciations – a note saying Thank you, Miss Fields.

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