Szymon Goldberg was one of the notable violinists of the twentieth century.
His family moved to Warsaw when he was a child, where he began violin studies at the age of seven. He went to Berlin in 1917, studying with the great pedagogue Carl Flesch.
He debuted at a recital in Warsaw in 1921, and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1924 in a memorable concert in which he played three concertos. He was concertmaster of the Dresden State Orchestra (1925-1929) and the Berlin Philharmonic (1929-1934). With composer/violist Paul Hindemith and cellist Emmanuel Feuerman he formed an important string trio.
He was forced to leave the Berlin Philharmonic in 1934 because of the onset of Nazi rule in Germany. He began touring Europe and the Far East as a soloist, and with pianist Lili Kraus formed one of the great recital partnerships. He and Kraus recorded a historic series of Mozart sonata recordings on the Parlophone label.
He debuted in New York in 1938. He was on a tour of the Dutch East Indies when it was occupied by the Japanese in 1942, and was interned there for the duration of the war. He resumed his international career in 1946. He toured widely and established a teaching and conducting career. In 1951 he joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and in 1955 founded the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, one of the pioneers of the chamber orchestra music.
He took American citizenship in 1953. He resigned from the Aspen Festival in 1965. He conducted several of the world's leading orchestras and made highly regarded recordings of modern violin repertory and revisited the Mozart sonatas, this time with Radu Lupu as his partner. He moved to London in 1969.
He resigned from the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in 1977 and the next year joined both the faculty of Yale University in New Haven, CT, and New York's Juilliard School. He also taught at the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute.