Boris Lozhkin
President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress

Celebrating famous Jews from Ukraine: Marek Weber

At the age of 12, Marek Weber from Lviv already played the violin so virtuoso that he was invited to perform in a variety show in Chernivtsi. Stunned by the way the teenager played, the owner of the variety show offered him a one-year tour contract, which the young violinist happily agreed to. Unlike his father, who saw the future of his son as a doctor.
The views on the future of the younger and older Webers radically diverged, so the young violinist decided to run away from home. After the father came to terms with the choice of his son, Marek returned to his parents’ house in Lviv and completely devoted himself to music, already with the blessing of his parents.
For a long time Weber did not dare to lead his own orchestra, believing that without a violin in his hands, his individual bright manner of performance would also leave him.
The solution was a compromise that made Weber one of the most charismatic and successful conductors of the first half of the 20th century. He alternately both played the violin and conducted with the violin bow.
Waltzes, tangos, pasodobles, polkas – almost all the tunes that were popular in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s were played by Weber and the performers of his multinational orchestra. Including the famous “Rio Rita”. Weber’s orchestra was not the only one who performed this hit, but it was in his arrangement that it became the most popular, including in America, where Weber was forced to emigrate from Germany after the Nazis came to power.
Although Weber won the fame of the “Radio Waltz King” in the USA, his musical career overseas did not last long. Gravitating towards classical music and wedging its elements even into the popular dance melodies, he detested jazz. Yielding to the likes of the public, he was forced to allow members of his orchestra to perform jazz compositions, but he himself, unable to listen to them, departed to get a drink at the bar.
As a result, Weber completely left the stage, settling on a remote ranch, but in the history of music he still remained the creator of melodies that became the personification of several decades of the early 20th century.

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About the Author
Boris Lozhkin is a Ukrainian entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. He is President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress.
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