A virtuoso violin player, Florian ZaBach was at one point timed by "Believe It Or Not" as playing 12.8 notes per second during his performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee."
A popular recording artist and frequent guest on radio and television music programs in the '50s, ZaBach played a blend of classical and jazz that was immensely popular with listeners; his recording of "The Hot Canary" sold a million copies. His LPs included "Golden Strings," "Hi-Fi Holiday" and "It's Easy to Dance with Florian ZaBach."
ZaBach's television career was similarly successful. He was the featured soloist on NBC musical show "Club Embassy," and his own syndicated series was also a hit. He originally got his start in Washington, D.C., where he was pegged by bandleader Arthur Godfrey to appear often on Godfrey's show. From there, he made numerous appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Jack Paar Show" and "The Tonight Show." He also made frequent stage appearances in New York City.
ZaBach, a child prodigy, first performed with the Chicago Symphony in his hometown at the age of 12. He trained underneath his father, Florian ZaBach Sr., an Austrian native, and then at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.
Blogger Lee Harsfeld, who has written about ZaBach frequently at his blog Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else, says that ZaBach bridged the gap between more traditional jazz and the music that would become rock 'n' roll. "ZaBach's brand of elegant novelty music helped carry the concert jazz tradition of Paul Whiteman and Artie Shaw into the 1950s, though with an emphasis on virtuoso solo work rather than a full orchestra."