Tiberius (“Tibor”) Klausner was born in Arad, Transylvania (Romania) in 1931, the second of Hermann and Margareta Klausner’s three sons. Eight-year-old Tibor fell in love with the violin after hearing a gypsy violinist playing outside his father’s restaurant. When a violinist from Arad who attended the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest “tested” Tibor’s ear and found it be be exceptional, his parents agreed that he should begin violin lessons. He played his first recital at age nine.
During World War II, Tibor’s family’s business and apartment were taken away by the pro-German Romanian authorities. His father was sent to a labor camp and the family was forced into the Jewish ghetto in Arad. During the last year of the war, the family went into hiding on farms in the Romanian countryside, sleeping in barns or wherever they could find shelter, until they were liberated by the Russian Army.