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While in Paris, he won the "Premier Grand Prix de Rome" gold medal at the age of 12, competing against 40 other players, all of whom were at least 20 years of age. As a result, he left music to study medicine. He spent a brief time in the army before returning to the violin in , when he gave a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Arthur Nikisch.
It was this concert and a series of American tours from to that brought him real acclaim. He served briefly in the Austrian Army in World War I before being honourably discharged after he was wounded. He arrived in New York on November 24, ,  and spent the remainder of the war in America. He returned to Europe in , living first in Berlin, then moving to France in Shortly thereafter, at the outbreak of World War II , he settled once again in the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in He lived there for the rest of his life, giving his last public concert in , and broadcasting performances for a few years after that.
Struck by a truck while crossing a street in New York, he suffered a fractured skull and was in a coma for over a week. Legacy[ edit ] Kreisler wrote a number of pieces for the violin, including solos for encores, such as " Liebesleid " and " Liebesfreud ".
They were originally ascribed to earlier composers, such as Gaetano Pugnani , Giuseppe Tartini and Antonio Vivaldi , and then, in , Kreisler revealed that it was he who wrote the pieces. When critics complained, Kreisler replied that they had already deemed the compositions worthy: "The name changes, the value remains", he said. His cadenzas for the Beethoven concerto are the ones most often played by violinists today.
The movement is rescored and in some places reharmonised, and the orchestral introduction is completely rewritten in some places. The overall effect is of a late-nineteenth-century work.
He also owned a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin of , which he often used as his second violin,  and which he often loaned to the young prodigy Josef Hassid. Kreisler makes considerable use of portamento and rubato [ citation needed ].
Praeludium and Allegro in the Style of Pugnani, for violin & piano