Kreisler, Fritz (krĪsˈlər) [key], 1875–1962, Austrian-American violinist, studied at the conservatories of Vienna and Paris. He first appeared in the United States in 1889. After studying medicine, then art, Kreisler returned to the violin, making a sensationally successful appearance in Berlin in 1899. In 1901 he played again in the United States and afterward was perhaps the most popular violinist in the country. He served briefly in the Austrian army in World War I; in 1939 he became a French citizen and in 1943 a U.S. citizen. He composed the operettas Apple Blossoms (1919) and Sissy (1933) and numerous famous violin pieces, including Caprice Viennois, Tambourin Chinois, and Polichinelle Sérénade. In 1935 he revealed that a number of the pieces he had published as compositions of old masters were actually his own.
See biography by L. P. Lochner (1950).