Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld, internationally renowned violinist and cellist, both served on the USC Thornton faculty beginning in 1959, and were holders of the Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld Chair in String Instruction and the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello, respectively. They concertized extensively as soloists with leading philharmonic and radio orchestras, in recitals, and as the acclaimed Schoenfeld Duo.
The sisters were educated in Berlin. Alice, a protégé of the eminent professor Karl Klingler, the heir of the great Joachim tradition, quickly rose to the top ranks of violinists, making her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of ten while Eleonore was admitted at the early age of fourteen to the prestigious Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin to study with Professor Adolf Steiner.
After a very successful career in Germany, the sisters immigrated to Los Angeles and continued their career as recitalists and soloists with major orchestras while serving as frequent guest artists, lectures, and master class clinicians worldwide. Collectively they made hundreds of recordings of the solo and chamber music literature for major television and radio stations throughout Europe, the United States, China, and Australia.
Professor Eleonore Schoenfeld served as the director of the International Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists at USC Thornton from 1979 until she passed away in 2007.
Their reputation attracted talented students from all over the world to USC Thornton, many of whom were top prize winners in national and international competitions, became world-renowned soloists, and garnered positions with the most prestigious universities and orchestras all over the world.
Both Alice and Eleonore were recipients of the USC Ramo Music Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2008 they were presented with the coveted emblem as national winners of the Artist Teacher Award by the American String Teacher’s Association.
The Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall was a perpetual gift from Alice Schoenfeld to the USC Thornton School of Music and was Dedicated on October 28, 2012.