26th January 1865
26th March 1926
Franz Kneisel was an American violinist and teacher of Romanian birth.
Born in Bucharest, the son of a German bandmaster, he learned to play the flute, clarinet and trumpet as well as the violin. After graduating from the Bucharest Conservatory in 1879 he went to Vienna, where he continued his studies with Jakob Grün and Joseph Hellmesberger until 1882; he made his solo début in Vienna at the end of that year. The next season he became concertmaster at the Hoftheater, and in 1884 went to Berlin to fill the same position in the Bilsesche Kapelle. In October 1885, though barely 20 years old, he was engaged by conductor Wilhelm Gericke as concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For the next 20 years he was concertmaster and assistant conductor, appearing as soloist in many violin concertos and giving the first American performances of the concertos by Brahms and Carl Goldmark, as well as the première of the First Violin Concerto of Gustav Strube. As assistant conductor, he led the BSO in its performances at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.Corporation and was a noted collector of violins, as well as a brother of banker and philanthropist Otto H. Kahn and composer Robert Kahn.