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  • In Memoriam: Isidor Saslav
  • Michel W. Pharand (bio)

Isidor Saslav, violinist, musicologist, Haydn scholar, and longtime concertmaster for the Longview Symphony, died on 26 January 2013 in the Tyler East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas, twenty miles from his home in Overton. He was seventy-four. He is survived by his wife of fifty years, pianist Ann Heiligman Saslav, with whom he concertized for more than thirty years, and by their children, David and Leanora, both of San Francisco.

Born in Jerusalem and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Isidor began studying the violin at the age of seven, and by seventeen was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He graduated from Wayne State University and received a doctorate in music from Indiana University. He went on to enjoy a distinguished career as concertmaster of numerous orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Minnesota, Baltimore, and New Zealand symphony orchestras, and the Indiana University, Dallas, Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, and Baltimore opera orchestras, and was a member of the Detroit and Chautauqua symphonies and the Orchestra of the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico. He also taught at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, the Eastman School of Music, and SUNY Buffalo. He established, and for more than a decade headed, the strings program at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. [End Page 229]

Isidor’s second passion was Bernard Shaw. Beginning in 1960, with the purchase of a first edition of Shaw’s first play, Widowers’ Houses, he amassed an impressive collection of more than eight thousand items of Shaviana. With characteristic generosity, he displays and talks about his treasures at at

In addition, during the last five years, Isidor made numerous trips to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to examine the extensive collection of scrapbooks kept by Shaw biographer Archibald Henderson. Isidor’s intention was to catalogue and publish his findings, some of which are delineated in his article in this issue. Perhaps his account of what he calls “Carolina Gold” will inspire others to make the trek to one of the world’s greatest Shaw archives and to continue, perhaps even complete, Isidor’s groundbreaking research. His enthusiasm was palpable, and when listening to him speak of his Shavian discoveries, one could not help but be equally galvanized.

Just prior to his untimely death, Isidor was in the midst of planning a unique performance that would have combined his musical and Shavian pursuits: a recital of Shaw’s favorite music at the June 2013 Shaw conference at Ayot St. Lawrence. The evening’s music making was dedicated to Isidor’s memory, and we raised our glasses to his indomitable spirit. [End Page 230]

Michel W. Pharand

Michel W. Pharand, general editor of shaw, is the author of Bernard Shaw and the French (2000), editor of Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths (2001), and of Bernard Shaw and His Publishers (2009), and general editor of Benjamin Disraeli Letters, Volume IX: 1865–1867 (2013). He is director of the Disraeli Project at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.



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