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SAW Board Member Profile: Dr. Erwin Hirsch

Dr. Erwin Hirsch

Dr. Erwin Hirsch

Dr. Erwin Hirsch, a member of the String Academy Board of Directors since the fall of 1990, was born in Vienna, Austria.  He began his musical studies on the piano at the age of eight.  Among his first piano teachers was a Mr. Rose, a grandson of Gustav Mahler. Dr. Hirsch continued his formal piano training until he was eighteen.

When Dr. Hirsch moved to the United States he settled in Boston and attended Harvard Medical School.  In 1970 he moved to Milwaukee after accepting the position as Associate Dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  As Associate Dean, Dr. Hirsch was responsible for student affairs.  This position enabled him to focus on the education of young people, which he cites as his lifelong concern.

Although now officially retired, Dr. Hirsch maintains an active interest in the technical and scientific aspects of medicine as well as the socioeconomic issues regarding the medical field.  He also resumed his piano studies eight years ago and studies with Robert Moeling.  In addition to being a fine pianist, Dr. Hirsch plays the recorder with various groups in the Milwaukee area.  He is a member of the McDowell Club which provides performance opportunities to local professional and amateur musicians. Dr. Hirsch is presently working on the Schubert Fantasia for four hands which is scheduled to be performed for the McDowell Club in February.

Dr. Hirsch recalled, with some amusement, the audition he had with Mimi Zweig ten years ago in hopes of playing chamber music with some of her students. After he finished playing the first movement of a Mozart violin sonata, Mimi said “That was very nice, but how long did it take you to learn it?” Dr. Hirsch clearly “passed” the audition, and from that point on has taken great delight in sharing his enthusiasm and love of music by accompanying many talented young violinists, including Erin Aldridge, Cyrus Beroukhim, Bridget Smith, Patty Hsu, Eliza Hamner and Shannon Farrell.

Dr. Hirsch and his wife, Emily, have been married for forty-four years.  They spend about half of each year in Mequon and the other half in Unterach, Austria (near Salzburg).  Dr. and Mrs. Hirsch have three children and six grandchildren.

David Becker

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