Sasha Semenoff

Sasha Semenoff (1924-2013) was born Abram Shapiro in Riga, Latvia. Sasha played the piano at age 6 and got his first violin at age 9. In a 2009 Las Vegas Sun interview, Sasha told the story that while being transported to a concentration camp a German Nazi soldier saw him holding a mandolin and instructed him to play “La Paloma.” To his great fortune, he was able to do so and always felt that that moment saved his life.

 

Sasha enjoyed a 50-plus-year career in Las Vegas as a musician for headliners such as Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. He was a familiar talent who was equally happy in a showroom or an intimate Italian restaurant. Whether as a solo performer or a member of an orchestra, Sasha was a popular musician in Las Vegas.

In 1959, he learned that the Desert Inn was hiring ten violinists. He was hired and never left the city.  During his career he helped open the International and the Venetian hotels. He also worked many of Sinatra’s private parties. He never retired and was a working musician until the final days.

He was married to his wife Sylvia for 49 years until her death in 2000.

 

Sources:

"Sasha Semenoff (1924 - 2013) - ForeverMissed Memorial Websites." Memorial Websites - Create an Online Memorial for Your Loved One. Accessed April 06, 2017. https://www.forevermissed.com/sasha-semenoff/#about.

 

Koch, Ed. "For Sasha Semenoff, Holocaust survivor and longtime Vegas performer, 'music was his life'" LasVegasSun.com. January 11, 2013. Accessed April 06, 2017. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jan/11/sasha-semenoff-holocaust-survivor-and-longtime-veg/.

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