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Clara Rockmore

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Biography

Clara Rockmore was a musician known for her virtuosity on the theremin, an early electronic instrument.

Rockmore was born in Vilna, Lithuania. A violin prodigy, in 1915, she became the youngest person ever admitted to the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

She moved to New York in the mid-1920s, where she continued her classical violin training. But she suffered muscular and joint problems, leading her to study with Leon Theremin, inventor of the theremin instrument.

She put on one the first theremin concerts in the United States in 1934. Not only was she the theremin’s first expert player, but she improved its articulation by developing various structural changes to the instrument.

Further Reading

"Theremin," GHN:IEEE Global History Network.