Julius Schulman, 84, former Phila. Orchestra violinist
By Maria Panaritis
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Julius Schulman, 84, a classical violinist who studied and performed with such 20th-century virtuosos as Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and the Philadelphia Orchestra's Leopold Stokowski, died after a long illness Saturday at Brotman Hospital in Culver City, Calif.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native studied with Zimbalist while on scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music. Upon graduation in 1937, Mr. Schulman joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, becoming the youngest musician to perform for Stokowski.
The orchestra recorded such acclaimed works as Walt Disney's Fantasia, and Mr. Schulman, according to his son, Neil, went on to become a favorite of Stokowski's successor, Eugene Ormandy.
A son of Russian immigrants, Mr. Schulman became entranced with the violin at age 5. He followed a young next-door neighbor to lessons with Jacques Malkin on Manhattan's Upper West Side, then began taking lessons himself, his son said.
At age 8, Mr. Schulman performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall. He later attended the Juilliard School of Music and moved to Philadelphia to study at Curtis.
Mr. Schulman's passion for the violin ran deep, providing relief through life's disappointments and difficulties, his son said. In fact, when he found himself too physically weak even to bow two years ago, it was the absence of music that sapped Mr. Schulman's will.
"Not being able to play, I would say that's probably what brought about his final goodbye," his son said. "The violin was the way he dealt with anything sad. It not only brought joy to everyone he played for, but it brought joy to him."
Mr. Schulman seldom refused requests for informal performances.
"He was the sort of guy that if someone asked him to pull out a violin at a party, he would do it," his son recalled.
Mr. Schulman left the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1944 to become assistant concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
In 1947, he moved to New York, and he spent the 1950s playing with the WOR Mutual Network Symphony Orchestra on radio and later on television.
He went on to play with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and wound up spending most of the 1960s with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops.
The early 1970s found Mr. Schulman as the associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
And from 1975 to 1990, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, he was the concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Betty, daughter, Margaret, and four brothers and sisters.
Services are to be private.
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