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From the Archives: Young violinist

From the Archives: Young violinist
March, 1964: Endre Balogh impresses adults with his musical ability but fails to get the same response from his furry friend Binkie. (Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)

Endre Balogh, a young prodigy, was first American child to receive the Yehudi Menuhin Scholarship.

Balogh, age 9, was playing his violin during a portrait session with staff photographer Harry Chase when Binkie yawned. Of course that was the photo.

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Staff writer Julie Byrne reported in the March 24, 1964, Los Angeles Times:

Freckle dust scattered across a pixie-like face: an agile mind that jumps from puppetry to science; mobile, but tiny hands that turn a magic trick or make a violin come alive add up to 9-year-old Los Angeles musical prodigy Endre Balogh.

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Endre, who started playing violin when he was 3, is the first American child to receive a full scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin School in London for children with exceptional musical gifts.

The boy's first appearance with a violin was when photographed with a miniature but real instrument when he was 11 days old. His latest was Saturday, when he appeared as guest soloist for the Philharmonic Orchestra's Youth Concert at the Shrine Auditorium.

The talented young violinist is not wrapped in a velvet cloud of music, although he has made more than 50 appearances with professional musical groups.

As his mother played a recording of a recent concert where Endre was soloist, the slight little boy bounced in and out of his living room, showing his shell collection, chattering about puppets and roughhousing with his dog Binkie.

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Answering a question as to whether he was pleased with the recording he shrugged, pulled a string, a bolt and handkerchief from his pocket and said:

"Uh alright…here hold this end of the string and I'll show you a magic trick."…

Endre and his mother leave for London in April. There, he will not only receive his musical training in the Menuhin school but will attend a local school for general education.

This post was originally published on June 10, 2013.

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