Norbert Brainin, (March 12, 1923 – April 10, 2005), was the first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, one of the world’s most highly regarded string quartets.
Because of Brainin’s Jewish origin, he was driven out of Vienna after Hitler’s Anschluss of 1938, as were the violinist Siegmund Nissel and violinist Peter Schidlof. Brainin and Schidlof met in a British internment camp, many Jewish refugees having had the misfortune of being confined by the British as “enemy aliens” upon seeking refuge in the UK.
Brainin was released after a few months, but Schidlof remained in the camp, where he met Nissel. Finally Schidlof and Nissel were released, and the three of them were able to study with violin pedagogue Max Rostal, who taught them free of charge. It was through Rostal that they met cellist Martin Lovett, and in 1947 they formed the Brainin Quartet, which was renamed as the Amadeus Quartet in 1948.