As he tells one of the many stories of his life, Elliot Magaziner pulls out what looks to be a walking stick from the corner of his Scarsdale apartment and starts playing it.
He explains that he bought the “pochette” violin, used during the 18th century by dancing masters of the French royal courts, from an antique fair in Holland many years ago.
“They have one of these in a music room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” he said.
Souvenirs like this act as physical trademarks of Magaziner’s life. But others, like his memories of performing on the radio alongside Frank Sinatra and Arthur Godfrey, are frozen in time.
“Every time he came east, he would tour and I would play with him,” he said of Sinatra. “Back then every radio station had an orchestra.”
Long before television, Magaziner performed on radio shows hosted by CBS Broadcasting, Inc. This was after he finished serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Magaziner also played violin around that time for the Broadway musical, Showboat, during the late 1940s. Of that experience he remembers performing 8 shows, 6 nights a week.
“I figured ‘this is my life, I’ll do this forever,’” he said.
Over the years, Magaziner has maintained that goal by keeping music an active part of life. He ended a 40 year-tenure as an applied music professor at Manhattanville College last summer, but he continues to teach violin lessons at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains.
And with his 90th birthday on Christmas day coming up this year, Magaziner says he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I don’t know what I’m going to be doing for the next 90 years, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out,” he jokes.