Articles / Miscellaneous

Mischa Tulin and His Theremin

Mischa Tulin BSO Program Cover

[ Updated. Here is the link to the eBay Auction]

TW member theremaniac (and long time owner of Mischa Tulin's Theremin), and, helped assemble some information on this important, but somewhat forgotten Thereminist of the early days.

“” Mischa Tulin was born in Russia and schooled in piano and composition at the Imperial Conservatory of Music in Petrograd. He came to New York at the onset of the Russian revolution c. 1917. During the late 1920s, while working for RCA Victor, he was sent to Russia to persuade Professor Theremin to come to the US so RCA could benefit from his electronic knowledge. [Fact conformation needed here.] It was around this time that he was introduced to the Theremin.

In 1930 at the request of Professor Theremin he took up the study of the new space controlled musical instrument and received many invitations to appear as soloist with some of the finest musical organizations in the country. He volunteered much of his time giving free concerts and participated in the Chautauqua traveling circuit of adult education and entertainment movement popular in the late 18th and early 20th century. He often played Theremin with his wife Helen at the piano.

Tulin even appeared on Broadway in 1952 providing the off stage spooky sound effects for the play ‘Mrs. McThing’, staring Helen Hayes and featuring the stage debuts of Ed Gwynn and Earnest Borgnine. The sound design was revolutionary for the time and was controlled by four pan pots connected to a speaker in each corner of the auditorium so the ‘voice’ of the ghost provided by Mischa’s Theremin could seemingly revolve around the whole theater. [ed. It is mind blowing how everything old becomes new again!]“"

Now, theremaniac is going to sell this unique and historical instrument, his auction on Ebay is scheduled to start on May first and he's posting the information about it in the TW Forum.
Theremaniac forwarded some details about the Tulin Theremin:
“”The cabinet is custom made with tiny wood inlay. This may have been done by Mr. Tulin’s friend who was a master craftsmen in order to provide a separate two piece Theremin for easy travel. One story says the power supply caught fire in an Arabian country and their woodworker fashioned a replacement cabinet. There is no evidence of fire damage or any replacement of parts at all on the chassis. The story of a substitute for the volume control tube as mentioned by [renowned American theremin expert] Howard Mossman is true. It has a different tube that has a very slow reaction. It is in working order and is a work of art as well.“”

More information on Tulin is available at

Thanks theremaniac for the great information and best of luck with your auction!