Saundra Maazel (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 09, 2022

Exactly four years and ten months ago, a daughter was born to the famous concert pianist, Marvin Maazel, and his equally talented wife, Frances Berkova, noted violinist.

The tot was christened Saundra, and from earliest babyhood amazed both family and friends by her keen appreciation of music.

It was soon discovered that crying spells could be silenced, not by the rattle of toys, but by a symphony recording, or by melodious improvisations played by mother or father.

The Maazel family moved to California a few months after Saundra’s birth. Surrounded by musical friends of the family, the youngster’s interest grew.

When she was twenty months of age, the baby was given a violin purchased as a toy from a five and ten cent store.

Through this plaything Saundra’s father discovered the baby possessed that rare attribute to musical success, perfect pitch.

Given First Violin

He immediately purchased a sixteenth-size violin, the smallest instrument made, measuring ten inches in length and played with a bow twelve inches long.

On this instrument Saundra was instructed in technique by her mother and quickly committed to memory ten ambitious compositions. Her progress was so rapid that she was finally turned over to Carl Moldrem, a specialist in the musical training of children, and remained under his guidance for ten months. At the end of this period she was presented in her first public appearance at which time she was distinctly the “hit of the evening.”

From this point on, her mother continued the training and a few months later Saundra was invited to give a recital program, comprising fourteen numbers, at the San Diego Exposition. She was three and one-half years of age at this time.

Today, at four years and ten months, her repertoire consists of numerous difficult violin concertos and concert numbers.

In Constant Demand

During the last year and a half, the young artiste has been in constant demand at smart gatherings in and around Hollywood, and in this manner attracted the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio officials, who immediately contacted her parents in regard to a screen career for the child.

Extremely petite, and small even for her age, Saundra is a distinct type of beauty. Her eyes are large and dark, and her head is covered with a mass of soft, black curls.

To her, playing the violin is fun, just as playing a game is fun, and Saundra loves games.

In Love With People

She is never happier than when someone invites her to accompany her mother and father to a party, or when guests are invited to her home.

Although she is only a bit over four, her scrapbook would rival many of those kept by artists in the business for years.

Among its contents of press clippings and programs are letters from such famous names in the amusement world as Edward G. Robinson, Francis Lederer, Jay Paley, head of Columbia Broadcasting System, Andres de Segurola, famous baritone of the Metropolitan Opera Company, Jean Hersholt, Clarence Brown, Sophie Tucker, and many others.

At the present time Saundra is dividing her time between play, violin lessons and dramatic coaching.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios have brilliant plans for this tiny artist.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937