Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Jaffa, Max

(b London, 28 Dec 1911; d London, 30 July 1991). British violinist of Russian origin. He studied with Wilhelm Sachse, Max Mossel at the GSM (1926–32) and Sascha Lasserson. From the age of 14 he played in a local cinema and led the orchestras at the Strand Corner House and the Trocadero. He led the Piccadilly Hotel Orchestra from 1927 to 1939, and on the recommendation of Sir Landon Ronald led the Scottish (later Scottish Symphony) Orchestra in Glasgow for a season, where he worked under Weingartner, Beecham and Barbirolli. He served in the RAF during World War II. In 1947 he was engaged by the BBC for the London Studio Players and later teamed up with the pianist Jack Byfield and the cellist Reginald Kilbey to form the Max Jaffa Trio, which became one of the most popular ensembles of the day. From 1959 to 1986 Jaffa was musical director for the Scarborough Corporation, where he gave concerts every summer with his ‘Max Jaffa and the Spa Orchestra’, and from 1960 to 1986 he toured throughout the world giving concerts on cruise liners. Jaffa's numerous recordings reveal his consummate artistry based on an impeccable technique, together with a warmth and lyricism which place him firmly in the old school of violin playing. He was created an OBE in 1962 and was made an honorary fellow of the GSM in 1964. He wrote an autobiography, A Life on the Fiddle (London, 1991).

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