He was best known as the teacher of the great violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Ruggiero Ricci, Isaac Stern, Camilla Wicks, Almita Vamos, Fredell Lack, and Louise Behrend. He was also Ricci's piano accompanist for many recitals and recordings.
Persinger was also a pretty good chess player. I was not able to locate a rating for him, but I would guess it was somewhere between 1800-2000. I have an old tournament book of the 2nd Hollywood Pan-Am played in Los Angeles in 1954. Persinger’s name and a few of his losses appear in the book. He finished tied for 57-60 out of 74 players with a score of 5.5 – 8.5. The event was won by Arthur Bisguier ahead of Larry Evans, Nicholas Rossolimo and Herman Steiner. He also played in Bobby Fischer’s first rated tournament, the 5th Amateur U.S. Championship held at Lake Mohegan in New York state.
In this game he really slugs it out with GM Dr. Reuben Fine in an 8-player simul. There were plenty of mistakes on both sides. Fine’s no doubt because he was moving quickly and Persinger’s because the position towards the end was a real mess. With the material imbalance and tactical possibilities in the position it was simply more than an average player could handle and Fine’s greater skill (and luck) carried the day. It’s really too bad Persinger lost this game because I can only imagine the thrill of what it would have been like to beat Fine in such a game.