The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


NEW YORK, Monday—I received a letter today, part of which I am going to reprint here. While the writer is telling me about his concert in New York City, sooner or later he is sure to play in many parts of the country and I want my readers to know about him. Here is what he says:

"I take the liberty of asking you to please reserve the evening of January 6, 1953, from which occasion the destiny of my musical career depends.

"The graveness of this expressing stems from a fact which was made known to me recently. Namely, till now I did not know why I could not get a contract with big management (such as Columbia or National Concert and Artist Corporation) in spite of the excellent reviews, which I am enclosing.

"However, fate brought me an opportunity to meet and play for Mr. Marks Levine, the director of N.C.A.C. After hearing me he expressed an opinion that though I was able to compete with other violinists under his management, my blindness caused managers to hesitate in taking me on.

"This hurts me very much, for I was educated exactly like sighted people, not only in the musical field, but also in general education. I attended high school with the sighted, and won my diplomas in competition with the sighted. Moreover, I worked very hard to gain recognition on my musical merits and not on pity.

"Mr. Levine suggested and organized this concert in Carnegie Hall in order to see the enthusiasm of the public, and pending the results he will decide concerning the contract."

The following is one of my correspondent's reviews: "Highlighting his program with a splendid performance of the Tschaikowsky D major concerto, Reuben Varga presented an excellent concert in Frye Hall. He is a superb violinist...Reuben Varga played an outstanding violin recital, opening with Beethoven's great 'Kreutzer Sonata,' which was given a masterful rendering. Mr. Varga at once captured the hearts of his audience. He is a fine type of intellectual artist, possessing soul, sensibilities, imagination and a great musical understanding."

This young artist is in his early twenties, and I heard him play only a short time ago. His blindness should be no handicap, for I am sure most people in his audience will not even think of it as he plays.

On January 6 at Carnegie Hall, New York City, he will give his concert, which, as he states in his letter, will mean so much to him. I am sure all my readers everywhere in the country will have a chance sooner or later to hear him play, so I hope you will remember his name and go to hear him. I say this not because he is blind, but because he is a fine musician and it is good to lend a hand to someone who really needs it. In this case I think I can promise that you will enjoy the time spent at any concert that he gives.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 2, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.