Late musician’s work lives on through Litchfield author, composer

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The grand-niece of a talented musician whose life was tragically cut short at the Chicago World's Fair is continuing her uncle's work.

Rudolph Fuchs was a virtuoso.

"He was considered one of the great violinist of his generation," Sharon Ruchman says.

But his life was tragically cut short when he took a plane tour above the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933.

"The plane crashed,” Ruchman says. “The plane hit wind and it think went up and down a few times and then it went up in flames.”

Over two decades later, Ruchman says she sat down at the piano for the first time as a 5-year-old girl and began taking lessons at 8 years old.

"Over the years there was little said about Rudy until about 26 years ago and that's when everything changed.”

She says she received items about her uncle such as photos, letters, and a chance email that would change everything.

Ruchman says she was emailed by a woman who recently purchased a viola on Etsy.

"She apparently had just purchased a viola on Etsy. It wasn't in great condition."

Attached to the email were two photos, one of the original receipt for the instrument, and the other of the chin rest which read "Rudolph Fuchs,1920."

"I had chills up and down my body," Ruchman says.

Ruchman asked to purchase the viola, which she also taught herself how to play.

About a year and a half after that, Ruchman says she was once again by chance contacted by a record collector who claimed to have recordings of her uncle’s music.

"I had a man contact me, he was a record collector in New York and I thought to myself, ‘oh my gosh, how is this possible?!’" she says.

"And when I heard my uncle play, there was so much emotion and heart in his playing that I said I know a lot about this man even though I’ve never met him."

Ruchman says coming to discover, her great uncle, has transformed her.

"Primarily because Rudy himself was the gift to me."

Sharon Ruchman will be at Norwalk library sharing her story and her new book “The Gift of Rudy” on September 20. For more information Click here

 

 

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