Emanuel Feuermann was an internationally renowned cellist from Vienna. After moving to Leipzig in 1917 and studying with celebrated cellist Julius Klengel, Feuermann took a position at the Gürzenich Conservatory in Cologne, became principal cellist for the Gürzenich Orchestra, and played cello for the Bram Elderling Quartet. In 1929 he took on the role of professor at the Musikhochschule in Berlin, but four years later Nazism had begun to take hold and he was dismissed due to his Jewish background.
Feuermann moved to London and toured Japan and New York City, before returning to Europe to marry Eva Reifenberg in 1935 and settle in Zurich. At the time of the Anschluss, when Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany, Feuermann was in Vienna. Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman helped him and his family escape to British Palestine, and from there they moved to the United States in 1937. Feuermann met an untimely death in 1942 when he died of complications from a haemorrhoid operation.