Joseph White Afro-Cuban Composer & Violinist, CDV by Mora, New York, circa 1875-1877

CDV studio portrait of José Silvestre de los Dolores White Lafitta (1835-1918, also known as Joseph White). Mora: New York, n.d., circa 1875-1877. Photographer's 707 Broadway imprint on recto. Contemporary ink inscription on verso identifies White. 

A heretofore unknown image of the virtuoso Afro-Cuban violinist and composer. Born in Cuba to his Afro-Cuban mother and his white Spanish father Don Carlos White, an amateur violinist. The young White gave his first public concert on March 21, 1854, in his hometown of Matanzas accompanied by the renowned American pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) who helped him raise money and encouraged him to travel to Paris to further his practice.

White was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris about 1855 at the unanimous recommendation of the jurors after his audition. There he studied under great violinists of the age, notably Jean-Delphin Alard (1815-1888), and was awarded the coveted First Grand Prize (Premier Prix) on July 29, 1856. Regarded as one of the great violinists of his generation, he was held in high regard by the likes of Rossini and Gounod. He toured globally and gave a series of performances in 1861 that were met with acclaim. He also began composing and is well remembered for two important books of études. He also organized new chamber music groups including the Societe des Trois Anciens et Modernes and Societe des Musique de Chamber. 

In 1875-1877, White featured as a guest soloist at the New York Philarmonic and gave additional concerts in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. It was during this period of touring North America when this image was likely captured. In 1878, he traveled to Brazil where he was appointed the director of the Imperial Conservatory in Rio de Janeiro and served as the court composer of Emperor Pedro II. In 1889, he returned to Paris where he continued composing, performing, and teaching violin, notably to students Jacques Thibaud and George Enescu. 


A few spots, ghost of photographer's imprint on lower portion of image. 

Estimate: $400 - $600
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