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About ...

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On this page you will find details about David Hochstein, including links to relevant information, associations, and playwright Stuart Loeb.


David Hochstein

David was born and raised of Jewish immigrant parents on Joseph Avenue in Rochester, NY. David’s mother’s sister was Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist who lectured throughout the United States and was eventually deported. David attended East High school and as a child he studied violin and was considered a prodigy. As a teenager, he was heard playing through a window by Emily Sibley Watson, and she and George Eastman supported him, as he studied in Europe with the greatest violin teachers, and started a performance career in America. He played with the Rochester Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall. George Eastman bought a Stradivarius violin for David to play.


David and his Mother, circa 1900

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In 1917 America entered World War I. David had a deferment but he gave it up and joined the Army.

He was assigned to conduct an Army band but he requested officer training and he attended training in France to become a lieutenant. Two weeks after becoming lieutenant, he was killed in the Argonne forest and his remains were not found.

“When you have seen and met men who have been through the inferno, every belief you ever had is either destroyed or tempted more strongly. … I cannot submit to hiding behind my violin any longer. … The position is intolerable,”

he wrote to his mother, explaining his need to seek a transfer.

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Stuart Loeb, playwright

Stuart Loeb (Playwright) grew up in Los Angeles. At the age of 15 he saw West Side Story and he dreamed of being in the chorus. After college, he entered the Peace Corps where he taught English in North Africa. After his return, he chased his “theatre dreams” by building sets for Ibsen’s Ghosts and playing Oberon in the park, with silver paint on his skin. He came to Rochester 40 years ago, with his
wife Illa, to train in Child Psychiatry, and he quickly admits, “I’m still learning!”

In 2009 he wrote a play about Frederick Douglass, Ashcakes, which was performed at RAPA. Later Stuart discovered David Hochstein, his mother Helena, his aunt Emma Goldman—“a dangerous woman”—and Major Baldwin, and he began to write Bravura.

“Theatre is teamwork, and there are many people to thank, especially Donald B. Bartalo, and this wonderful cast and crew, and John Borek and the MuCCC gang. If ‘all the world’s a stage’ then I must be a lucky playwright!”

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