Miss Isolde Menges
Isolde Marie Menges (16 May 1893 – 13 January 1976) was an accomplished English violinist who was most active in the first part of the 20th century.
A native of Sussex, England, she became a student of Leopold Auer and Carl Flesch. She concertised widely, as soloist and with the Menges Quartet (founded by her in 1931) and Quintet, in locations such as Darmstadt (at 14 years of age), Liège, Wiesbaden, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and throughout England, Scotland, Canada and the United States.
She gave concerti with noted orchestras and conductors such as the New Queen's Hall Orchestra conducted by Henry J. Wood), and London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter, and the Royal Philharmonic Society. In 1916 she played the Brahms Violin Concerto and Édouard Lalo's Symphonie espagnole with Ernest Bloch.
While living with friends in Kelowna, Canada, during the winter and spring of 1918, Isolde Menges gave daily private lessons to child prodigy Isobel Murray, who later became one of British Columbia's leading violinists.
A major prize commemorates her at the Royal College of Music, where she taught.
Her younger brother was the composer and conductor (Siegfried Frederick) Herbert Menges.
Letter to the Marmora Herald by S.B. Wright, Deloro, April 25, 1918
In view of the fact that some person or persons are apparently spreading reports with malicious intent regarding the nationality of Miss Menges, the eminent English Violinist, it becomes necessary for the ridiculous rumors that have been circulated in this district to be definitely stopped.
The first report was to the effect that Miss Menges is a German. In refutation of this let me say that I am in a position to state positively that Miss Menges was born in England of British parents who are well known in musical circles there. I would add incidentally that Miss Menges' eldest brother is a Lieutenant in the British army and has been for some time past doing his bit "somewhere in France." The latest rumor to the effect that Miss Menges was arrested as a German spy in Belleville (and in Peterboro the same day) a short time ago, has apparently been embellished with all kinds of circumstantial evidence by the ignorant (if not malicious) persons who have circulated these reports. As an absolute contradiction of this absurd rumour I have the permission of the Manager of the Standard Bank of Canada at Belleville, Mr. Elliott, to make the statement for him that the whole thing is absolutely without foundation, that no such affair has ever been thought of in Belleville, and that such reports are too ridiculous to be taken seriously by any sane person.
The fact remains however that in the Marmora district some ignorant person or persons are responsible for the circulation of these rumours, and as I for one propose to protect my personal friends from slander to the best of my ability, particularly when the party concerned is a lady, and is not present to defend herself, I wish to give the slanderers concerned notice by means of this letter that I intend to take any steps that may be necessary to bring them to account for their offences. I must apologize Mr. Editor for the length of this letter but in view of the fact that if such rumours were allowed to be circulated indefinitely they might effect Miss Menges seriously in her tours in this country, you will I know agree that some action should be taken.
I am, Yours very truly, S.B. Wright, Deloro, Ontario
April 25, 1918