The ‘Polish violin virtuoso’ Leopold Premyslav had boarded the Australia-bound P&O liner Himalaya in Colombo on the completion of a tour of India and Ceylon. He arrived in Melbourne, via Fremantle on Monday 25 March 1907.
At the time of his visit Premyslav was about 24 years of age.
He appeared on the same bill as Scottish Baritone Andrew Black and appeared in the same concert performances. Both artists, together with supporting acts, joined the Wimmera in Sydney on 25 May 1907 bound for Wellington where they arrived on 29 May. Fellow passengers on the same voyage include sister entertainers Cleopatra, the snake charmer, and Bonita, the crack rifle shot.
Mr Premyslav is making his first tour of the colony, and he proved himself on his first appearance to be not only one of the most gifted violinists that has visited these shores, but a cultured musician and an artist to the finger-tips, literally. He plays the most elaborate and difficult compositions from memory on an instrument that is a delight in itself, the tone being pure and sweet. His manipulation of the violin is exceedingly clever, but there is neither pose for effect nor tricks in execution in Mr. Premyslav’s style. He is, without doubt, a master of his instrument, and an enthusiastic artist, and his work on the high notes is a delight and a revelation. His first contribution was Paganini’s lengthy concerto in D-major, given without an effort. A recall was his reward. On his second appearance he gave a bracket of three items Beethoven’s Romance in G-major, the dainty Seventh of Brahms’s series of Hungarian Dances, and Ries’s eccentric “Perpetuum Mobile,” and an extra number had to be played in response to an emphatic encore. A similar compliment was paid to player and audience when, in the second part of the concert, Mr. Premyslav had given brilliant renderings of the Sestette from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Wieniawski’s “Airs Russes.”
Evening Post, Volume LXXIII, Issue 128, 31 May 1907, Page 2
He returned to Sydney on the Moeraki on Tuesday 20 August 1907 after nearly 10 weeks on tour in New Zealand.
Leopold Premyslav departed Sydney and Australia on Saturday 31 August 1907 aboard the Guthrie bound for Singapore and the East.
In later life Premyslav became an “exile from Hitler’s Germany” in 1936 to settle in Cape Town, South Africa. See Country Life volume 152 (1972), p1514.