Famed 20th Century pianist’s passport
Shura Cherkassky 1934 US issued passport.
Outstanding musician’s passport, used for traveling on his world tour. The document, though not in pristine condition, is complete and full of amazing visas to nearly all corners of the world!
Issued in December 11th 1934 and used until 1938. Several added folding additional pages are placed inside the passport at different locations during his trip. We can site several visas to these countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, USSR, France, Germany, Finland, Hungary, and Holland, United Kingdom, Sweden and even to these odd and exotic destinations as well: Japan, China and Manchuria (!)
Shura Cherkassky was born on October 7th 1911 and he passed away in London, on December 27th 1995. He left behind him a rich career of giving to millions of fans the opportunity to enjoy good quality classical music.
He fled with his family to the United States during the Russian Revolution and continued his musical studies there at the Curtis Institute of Music, with his teacher and mentor Josef Hofmann (his mother Lydia was the one who inspired him to learn music and gave him the first introduction to music learning and passion). His studies with Hofmann lasted until 1935, the same period he went on his first major world tour.
During the war years he spent most of his time in the US, mainly performing at concerts in California. His next passport, issued in 1946, was used during his temporary residence in Sweden, were he went on frequent trips to occupied Germany, gaining fame and fans, mainly after the performance in Hamburg while playing Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff.
One of his trips took him to Israel, which left him in shock after seeing the living conditions in the new and young state: following war and economical shortages which meant most of the country was living under the system of rationing and severe shortages, mainly in the 1950’s. He wrote about his experiences to his mother from his small hotel in Tel Aviv.
His passports came together with years and years of letters that he had wrote back home, to his mother. During his frequent world tours he would find the time to sit down at his hotel desk and write her long letters about his performances, people he met and his financial status, at times good and at times bad. He was always in desperate need of support and contributions.
Cherkassky performed at all the great concert venues around the world and his tours took him practically everywhere. Today he is considered as one of the best pianists of the 20th Century.
I have added several images from his passport.
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