Ruth Anneliese Welcome was born in 1919 in Germany. As a small child, she learned to play the zither while living in Germany and Switzerland. She moved to the United States when she was eight. Even though she received formal music training at Julliard in violin and piano, her music career was made by her zither playing. During World War II, she entertained in military hospitals, which eventually led to her professional debut in New York City in 1953. She brought her zither sounds to smart supper clubs in New York, and was a standard attraction at Manhattan’s Hampshire House for five years. She toured extensively in the United States and Canada and recorded exclusively for Capitol Records, eighteen albums in all. Upon retirement in May 1975, she moved from Connecticut to Sun City, remaining there until her death on March 6, 2005. Her colorful zither sounds were created on a custom-made Meinel instrument, which is the zither counterpart to a Stradivarius. She was the only female professional zither player in North America.
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