Henry Joseph Brahinsky was for many years a leading member of Dallas's musical community.
Henry was born January 6, 1917, in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Russian-Ukrainian immigrants Nathan Brahinsky and Doris Shapiro Brahinsky. During his childhood in Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri, and Marysville and Concordia, Kansas, Henry proved to be a young prodigy as a violinist, winning numerous local, state, and regional contests.
Following his graduation from Marysville (KS) High School, Henry entered the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he studied violin with the noted pedagogue Emanuel Wishnow. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Education degree.
Upon his graduation, Henry was appointed assistant concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, at the age of 23. His career was interrupted by World War II, in which he served in the United States Army, seeing action in Europe as a private first class in an artillery unit of the Third Army, under the ultimate command of General George S. Patton. During the war, Henry played with USO shows as they passed through the areas where he was stationed. When he returned to the States, Henry was appointed assistant principal second violin of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the DSO, Henry worked under the batons of such legendary music directors as Jacques Singer, Antal Dorati, and Walter Hendl. During this time he married Muriel Silberman, a Dallas physician, with whom he raised three sons, all of whom became professional violinists.
In 1954, Henry ended his tenure with the Dallas Symphony. He became a full-time music teacher, at the same time remaining highly active as a free-lance performing musician and contractor. At the age of 40 he returned to school and earned a Master of Music Education degree from North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas) in Denton.
Throughout his career Henry maintained a small but highly successful private violin studio. He taught orchestra and instructed string-instrument classes from the elementary to high-school levels in many of the public schools in Dallas, and also briefly served on the string faculty at Texas Woman's University in Denton. He was an active member of the Dallas Music Educators Association, for which he served a term as president, and of the Texas Music Educators Association. He also belonged to the Classroom Teachers of Dallas.
During the 1950s Henry performed violin solos on a weekly program on WFAA radio in Dallas. During his career he served as concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, and the Casa Mañana Summer Musicals in Fort Worth, and was also Second Concertmaster of the Fort Worth Opera Orchestra. He was a longtime member of and musician contractor for the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. He played shows regularly for the Ice Capades and for the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, and had steady work with small ensembles at the Village Club and the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas. He was a Life Member of the American Federation of Musicians.
After 1979, Henry spent his retirement from public-school teaching by enjoying his granddaughters and alsountil debilitating medical problems made traveling difficultseeing the world with his wife, Muriel. From 1996 until his death he lived at the 12 Oaks Retirement Center in Dallas.
Henry Brahinsky died February 15, 2001, in Dallas.
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