Simon Wainrib ~ Bio

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1922, Simon Wainrib’s first twenty years were marked by two major themes -various moves to stay ahead of the rise of the Nazi party and the development of his love of music.  His introduction to opera and the piano came at a young age and he quickly became a piano virtuoso.   He was the designated piano player in his German classroom, until his father moved the family in response to the beginning of the Nazi party’s rise to power.  This was the first of the family’s moves, to Paris in the early 1930’s, where Simon and his family thrived and Simon began his love of jazz .  Shortly after, the Nazis came to Paris.  Simon’s family escaped to the village of Luchon in southwestern France until one night when the Sheriff of Luchon sent his daughter on her bike to knock on the doors of the Jewish refugees to warn them to flee after he had received orders to round them up the next day.  Simon and his extended family climbed over the Pyrenee Mountains and into the safety of Franco’s Spain.  After 2 years in Spain, Simon went to London where he enlisted with the Free French forces and attended lunch time concerts held to keep up residents’ spirits and instill a degree of normalcy.  Simon remained in London until the end of World War II, at which time he returned to his adopted home city of Paris. In the late 1940’s he made one final move, to the U.S. where he met his wife, Eva.  He settled down with Eva outside of New York City and they raised a family.  Simon and Eva discovered the Berkshires and the draw of Tanglewood early in their marriage and spent summers for many years going between the New York City area and Lenox.  On retirement, they permanently moved to the Berkshires and started an active retirement life as Simon realized his dream of dedicating himself to music by founding the Berkshire Bach Society, teaching Bach to elder hostels and acting as music critic for the Berkshire Record.