September 15, 2000

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Julius Schulman, Violinist Who Performed Worldwide, Dies at 84


Julius Schulman, a widely traveled violinist who played in several major American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, died on Saturday at Brotman Hospital in Culver City, Calif. He was 84 and lived in Culver City.

Mr. Schulman was born in New York and began studying the violin at the Malkin Conservatory in Manhattan when he was 5. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School and later at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his teacher was the violinist Efrem Zimbalist.

While a student at Curtis, Mr. Schulman toured South America with the All-American Youth Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. After his graduation in 1937, he joined Stokowski's Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1944 he became assistant concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under Fritz Reiner. He performed regularly as a soloist and gave several concerts at Town Hall in New York in the 1940's. But on several occasions he turned down opportunities to tour as a recitalist in favor of the security of an orchestra job.

Mr. Schulman returned to New York in 1947 to become the concertmaster of the WOR Mutual Network Symphony Orchestra and was frequently heard as a soloist on the orchestra's national broadcasts. When the orchestra was disbanded after a strike in 1954, Mr. Schulman spent a year as a freelancer in Broadway orchestras and for Muzak, the company that provides recorded background music.

He spent two seasons as concertmaster of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra before moving back to New York to become concertmaster of the Little Orchestra Society.

In 1960, after a tour of Europe, the Middle East and the Soviet Union with the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Schulman joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 1970, except for a sabbatical spent with the Philadelphia Orchestra on a tour of Japan.

When he left the Boston Symphony, Mr. Schulman joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where he was associate concertmaster from 1970 to 1975. From 1975 until he retired in 1990, he was concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Schulman is survived by his wife, Betty; a son, J. Neil Schulman of Culver City; a daughter, Margaret Garron of Colorado Springs; two brothers, Bernard Schulman of Del Rey Beach, Fla., and Lanesboro, Mass., and Samuel Schulman of Scarsdale, N.Y.; and two sisters, Geri Vladimir and Beatrice Meltzer, both of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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The New York Times Obituary for Julius Schulman