A growing list of Violin Players / Composers

From notes on the development of Violin playing © 1998 RDJH File Version. 0.91

Index : Click on the Violinist you would like information on : You will be taken to the book marked location

Accardo, Alard, Auer, Baillot, Baltzar, Bazzini, Benda, Bennewitz, Bériot, Biber, Blinder, Bohm, Brainin, Brodsky, Bull, A.Busch, Campoli, Corelli, Crickboom, Dancla, David, Dont, Dubois, Elman, Enesco, Ernst, Flesch, Galamian, Geminiani, Gingold, Grappelli, Grumiaux, Habeneck, Haendel, Hassid, Heifetz, Holmes, Hubay, Huberman, Joachim, Kagan, Klimov, Kogan, Korsakov, Krebbers, Kreisler, Kremer, Kreutzer, Kubelik, Kyung Wha Chung, Lafont, Leclair, Leonard, Locatelli, Marsick, Marteau, Massart, Menuhin, Milstein, Moser, Mostras, L.Mozart, Musin, Nardini, Neveu, D.Oistrakh, Ondricek, Paganini, Perlman, Persinger, Pisendel, Powell, Pugnani, Repin, Ricci, Robberechts, Rode, Rostal, Sammons, Sarasate, Sauret, Schradieck, Sevcik, Sitkovetsky, Sivori, Somis, Spivakov, Spohr, Stern, Stolyarsky, Suk, Szekely, Szerying, Szigeti, Tartini, Thibaud, Thomson, Torelli, Tretiakov, Vengherov, Vegh, Vieuxtemps, Viotti, Vivaldi, Wieniawski, Wilhelmj, Yampolsky, Yankelevich, Ysaye, Zimbalist, Zukerman

Sections describing layout

* Italy ( Pre-Corelli ) 1600 * South Germany & Austria 1600 * France 1600 * Italian schools 1700 * The German schools ( Mannheim ) * France ( Paris ) 1800 * The Franco-Belgian school * Bohemia ( Prague ) 1800 * The Vienna Conservatoire * The Hungarian school * The Russian school * The New American school

ITALY ( Pre-Corelli ) during the 1600s

Some of the earliest Violinists / Composers are described here. The very first 1st violin composition was by ANDREA GABRIELI - A collection of Sonatas written in 1587. CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI, trained as a professional string player, and used a surpirisingly wide variety of techniques such as tremolo, pizzicato. and portamenti in his "Orfeo" ( It was perfmormed in Mantua in 1607 ). BIAGO MARINI was a violin virtuoso who joined Monteverdi's instrumentalist in Venice. He wrote a technical treatment on the violin before he settled in Bavaria. CARLO FARINA settled in Dresden in 1625, and in his "Capriccio Stravagante" 1627 used special effects imitating animals & birds, and going beyond 1st position; these pieces were of little musical value, but certainly fun to listen to. Around mid-Century, MARIO UCCELLINI, in Modena, raised the range of violin to G ( a full 3 octaves ) , in 6th position on the E string. G.B.VITALI, in Bologna was cellist at the church San Petronio, he also taught the violin to son, TOMASO V., whose "Chaconne" is a favorite piece in the permanent violin repertoire. Back to Index

S.GERMANY and AUSTRIA in the 1600s

MARINI worked for many years in Neuburg-on-the-Danube. G.B.BUONAMENTE, Was a chamber musician at the Austrian court 1626-9 in Vienna and Prague. Many musicians from Bohemia and Moravia went to Vienna & Germany. JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER was the founder of the old Austrian violin school, which combined both German & Italian traits. HEINRICH VON BIBER, (b Bohemia 1704) settled in Salzburg in 1670 and became Kapellmeister there. His Passacaglia for unaccompanied violin was altogether superior to the works of his Italian contemporaries. JOHANN JAKOB WALTHER & JOHANN PAUL VON WESTHOFF ( Contemporaries of Biber ) both served in Dresden, during the late 1670s. Westhoff outshone reigning the French violinist LULLY in Paris so the King published his accompanied & unaccompanied Violin sonatas ( they go up to 7th position, and contain double stops). He was superior to the Italian school in technique, but not in the cantabile style or in their sonata and concerto forms. Bach JS continued Biber & Westhoff's old German traditions in his solo Sonatas and Partitas.Back to Index

FRANCE in the 1600s

Here, the violin was limited mostly to dance, ball & feasts music in 1631 according to Trichet. Only adventurous players reach the 4th position. Louis XIII granted official status to the string orchestra "Le 24 violons du Roy" in 1626. In 1653, Louis XIV appointed JEAN BAPTISTE LULLY (b Florence, later naturalised Frenchman in 1661) as new court composer for instrumental music. As violinist he formed the "Petits violons" some 16-21 string players, then turned to composing lyric tragedies. However, France was far behind Italy & Germany in Violin composing. France in the 1600s had a stable government, autocratic, resisting the Italian sonata style & foreign influence. Back to Index

ITALIAN SCHOOLS in the 1700s

Italy is considered the birthplace of violin ; full of Makers, Composers and Performers of the violin. Italian violinists travelled & settled abroad, exporting their knowledge & talents, teaching in other countries until national schools were formed. Back to Index

ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713). He is considered the ancestor of all great violinist. He was no innovator, but built a firm basis for the future development of violin playing. He absorbed the instrumental "tradition" at San Petronio, Bologna but hardly performed outside Rome or Bologna. He settled in high society at the service of Queen Cristina of Sweden, in Rome. There too was A.Scarlatti, his friend & colleague. Corelli writes mainly to convey the singing soprano voice of the violin ( no special effects are used in his pieces, but one senses a search for a pure and plain melody ). He is said to have had agile bowing and played an Andrea Amati violin. He insisted that everyone in his orchestra play with the same up and down bows. Corelli founded the SCUOLA ROMANA. He composed in both Da Chiesa and Da Camera styles ( later his sonatas became less distinct ). His "Christmas concerto" Op.6n8, is his most famous piece for string orchestra and his 12 violin sonatas Op.5 ( dated 1st Jan 1700 ), include the "La Folia" variations. ( 42 editions of this piece had been printed by end of the century ). Corelli's style was dissipated through GEMINIANI, SOMIS, VERACINI, TARTINI & LOCATELLI. Back to Index

ANTONIO VIVALDI ( b.Venice,1678 ) Known as the "red-haired priest". Vivaldi's music was mostly forgotten, and only rediscovered in the 1930s. He studied with his father, a barber & violinist. He was a violin teacher for 37 years at the Ospedale della Pieta, an institution for illegitimate or orphaned girls. He boasted he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could copy it. His "Gloria" was commissioned for the marriage of Louis XIV of France. Corelli became a favorite composer at the "concert spirituals" in Paris, ( without having ever been there ) especially thanks to his 4 seasons ( These were the most important programmatic compositions until Beethoven' s arrival ). He used the solo concerto form more than the sonata form. He wrote over 240 violin concerti. Vivaldi played in extremely high positions in some of his cadenzas ( this leads to the styles of Locatelli and Paganini ). Visiting violinists were Veracini, Tartini, Locatelli & Pisendel. Back to Index

G.B.SOMIS (1683-1763). Was a pupil in 1703, for 4 years of Corelli. It is thought he may also have been a pupil of Vivaldi. Somis bridges the Baroque and Classical eras. He founded the SCUOLA PIEMONTESE at Turin and taught PUGNANI, LECLAIR, GUILLEMAIN & the Italians GUIGNON (Ghignone) & CHABRAN (Chiabrano) who both moved to Paris. Back to Index

FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (b.1687) A Pupil of Corelli (and of A.Scarlatti in composition ). He came the closest in style to Corelli and settled early in London, in 1714. He was warmly welcomed ( after being demoted to viola for playing rubato or out of time in his native town orchestra, in Lucca. He performed accompanied by the young Handel, but soon became a rival of Handel. Geminiani played concerts for 3 years in Dublin. His concerti grossi became very popular in Paris, and in Germany his fugal writing was considered to be exemplary. He also wrote 2 sets of accompanied violin sonatas and also an unaccompanied sonata. His "Method" of 1751, London is now available in print. Back to Index

VERACINI (b.Florence,1690-1768) He played following Corelli's style. He was taught by his violinist Uncle, and had an unusually long bow, playing with boldness, power and sweep. He was boastful, an eccentric, restless traveler, eventually becoming employed in Dresden. He was a troublesome character and one episode tells of Pisendel organizing a competition, which for some dispute resulted in Veracini throwing himself out of a building and breaking a leg ! As soon as it got better he returned to his native Florence. One of his most noted pieces are his "Sonate Accademiche" 1744. Back to Index

G.TARTINI (1692-1770). Corelli and Vivaldi's concerto "prototype" influenced Tartini's composing and Veracini's virtuosity influenced his performing. Tartini insisted all his pupils learn Corelli's Op5 Sonatas before continuing study on anything else. He was a self taught genius who founded the PADUAN SCHOOL in 1728 ( this became the best European school ). Tartini taught the same 10 students every day ( teaching up to 10 hours a day ) and taught over 70 students from all over Europe during his 40 years teaching. He worked and played the violin for over 50 years in Padua, performing at the Basilica di San Antonio. His concerts were limited to North Italy, though he traveled to Prague. However he was disgusted with foreign food and climate and returned after only 3 years. He wrote very "Romantic" music such as his "Devil's Trill", composed after dreaming of selling his soul to the devil who played a miraculous sonata. His "Didone Abbandonata", and 50 variations on a Corelli theme ( a Gavotte ) known as the "Art of bowing" are also well known. He played with vibrato ( then known as "tremolo" ) as an ornamental effect, with his left wrist. He was also able to vary its speed. Tartini is also noted for his tonal shading in his bowing, also known as "messa di voce" - a crescendoing and decrescendoing in one bow. Partly for this reason, it is thought that he played without vibrato. Back to Index

ANTONIO LOCATELLI ( b.Bergamo,1693-1764 ) A Pupil of Corelli and G.VALENTINI in Rome. He published. "L'Arte del Violino" in 1733, in Amsterdam, where he settled around 1730. Later these were eagerly reprinted in Paris as 12 Concerti Op.3 - Each concerto has 2 caprices, ( hence his collection of 24 Caprices ). Caprice n23 has the title "Harmonic Labyrinth." Locatelli was the greatest technician of his century, directly influencing Paganini. Paganini's first caprice clearly derives from arpeggio bowing invented by Locatelli. Contemporaries said that Leclair played "like an angel", though many sources also relate ( compare Paganini ) that Locatelli looked like the devil !. Back to Index

PIETRO NARDINI (1722-93) A pupil at Tartini's famous school in Padua. He went there at the age of 12, and remained for 6 years. He became a Chamber virtuoso at ducal court of Stuttgart where he composed his Sonata in D, and his beautiful Concerto E minor. A direct link to the French school can be traced back to Nardini, as he taught POLLANI, who taught BAILLOT. Leopold Mozart, noted violinist and father of Wolfgang Amadeus, who heard him said it was impossible to hear a finer player for beauty, purity, evenness of tone and singing quality. He was so impressed that he ( Mozart's father ) later accompanied his 14 year old son, WA Mozart, to Florence ( where Nardini worked and lived for 23 years. Nardini could be described as a "Non-virtuoso", disdaining virtuosity. Back to Index

ANTONIO LOLLI (1730-1824). Played in the Tartini style. He was a self taught virtuoso. Played double stops in 3rds, 6ths, 8ves, and had an erratic style full of special effects which sometimes became grotesque. Lolli was not a school founder to say the least !

GAETANO PUGNANI ( b.Turin,1731-1798) A Pupil of Somis, Corelli and Tartini. Pugnani represented the best features of all the Italian schools. He reinforced the Piedmont school. He played a Guarneri violin, and used a modern bow ( he actually met Tourte, both father & son Tourte ) and also preferred fitting thicker strings for more tone. Through the SCUOLA di PADOVA, a modernized Italian tradition entered the Paris Conservatoire through his best pupil, Viotti. Pugnani was famous for his "arco magno" ( or grand bow stroke ). Back to Index

NICOLO PAGANINI ( b.Genova,1782-1840 ). Paganini played the mandolin at 5 years of age and the violin at 7. Note that the mandolin is fingered in the same way as a violin. He also played the Guitar extremely well later on. Paganini was the last in a transcendental tradition. Was prototype of Romantic virtuoso. Admitted most of his tricks were derived from Duranowski ( a Polish violinist who visited Genoa in 1794 ). Paganini was a pupil of Paer, in Parma in composition. He Received encouragement from Kreutzer in 1796/7 Wealthy amateur gave him his Guarneri. He declined playing to Spohr (who later said he was a mixture of genius & childishness - and was not impressed ) in Venice saying his style was "calculated to impress the mass public". Played almost exclusively his own compositions from memory ( quite unusual then ). He did not possess the tone of Rode or Giornovicchi, but Schumann wrote "Paganini represents a turning point in virtuosity" i.e.. Virtuosity was an integral artistic ingredient. In fact, Paganini knew and played all Beethoven's quartets. Liszt admired him & Paganini gave 20,000 francs to Berlioz. Did not leave Italy until he was 45. Within 6 yrs he amassed a fortune and became 2nd to none reputation. Wrote "24 Capricci" published in1820; n1 is inspired from Locatelli's n7 Caprice. They contain entire arsenal of violin technique. Paganini kept his left hand fixed, not shifting, but stretching back & forwards to change position. He became ill in 1822 & 1826 and by the mid 1830s he virtually ended his performance career. He tried raising the standards of the "miserable" Italian orchestras by reorganizing Parma Orchestra. Towards the end of his life he paralyzed his larynx & lost his voice. He collected & dealt with instruments (22 It. instr. on death) Back to Index


G.TORELLI (1660-1708) A contemporary of Corelli. He emerged from the San Petronio Orchestra, in Bologna. Torelli was the 1st to write a violin solo concerto ( Corelli stuck to the old concerto grosso style ). Traveling to courts, he settled in Dresden, Germany. He gave rise to schools in Dresden, Berlin & MANNHEIM. ( which became 2nd only to Roman school in late 1700).

JOHANN GEORG PISENDEL (Franconia,1687) Studied with Torelli in Ansbach. Came from Dresden in 1716 to study with Vivaldi. He returned with Vivaldi's manuscripts, some even dedicated to him. Bach knew him & heard him. Pisendel's Concerto in D foreshadows the structure of Mozart's 5th Violin Concerto. Back to Index

FRANZ (FRANTISEK) BENDA (b.Bohemia,1709) Studied with Pisendel. Played Adagios well and Bach thought highly of him. He composed almost 100 caprices on a par with those of Nardini and Tartini. Back to Index


JOHANN CARL STAMITZ & 2 SONS. (1717-57) Founder of The Mannheim school of violinists. He demanded high and exacting orchestral performances. Anton Stamitz taught Kreutzer the violin.

LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-87). Leopold belonged to the Mannheim School. His "Method" 1756 and style was more classical than Geminiani's. There were similar contents but more advanced bowing over Geminiani. His Method was translated into French & Dutch during his lifetime. He taught his pupils to use a faster bow speed for more volume. WA Mozart added a trumpet and timpani part to a Viotti concerto which he planned to perform at Vienna. Back to Index

LOUIS SPOHR ( b.1784-d.Cassel,1859 ) A Pupil of Eck, Mannheim, though he later adopted Rode's style. Spohr was the antithesis of Paganini. Paganini said Spohr was the foremost singer on his instrument, though Spohr thought badly about Paganini, Italian Orchestras and teaching at the Naples conservatory. From concertmaster and piano conducting he improvised a rehearsal with a baton and score. Spohr was literally the inventor of modern conducting. On the string bowings with solid musicianship - he rejected artificial harmonics. Division of bow & tone control. Sparing vibrato which could accelerate in a crescendo. Famous "on the string" staccato. Played chromatic scales. Technique = means to an end. Spohr lived from 1812 to 1815 in Vienna. He liked Viotti's music but apparently was refused lessons by Viotti. Adored Mozart, but negative towards Beethoven, although he later grew to accept Beethoven. He liked Wagner, conducting the "Flying Dutchman".Spohr wrote 15 violin concerti (from 1803 to 1844), bridging Beethoven's and Mendelssohn's concerti. The 8th Concerto is titled "Lyric scene". Uses melodic invention which was once considered Good teaching material ( and still should be ). Spohr uses no free ornamentation on melodic line. He published "Violinschule" method in 1831 and taught hundreds of orchestral students ( 145 in Cassel alone ) Spohr also invented the modern chin rest. He wrote Operas, Quartets, symphonies and songs. Back to Index

FERDINAND DAVID (b.Hamburg,1810-73) A Pupil of Spohr. David played Bach's suites as well as all the old Italian masters' sonatas. He published a collection of these old Italian Sonates ( to revive the old Italian compositions ) in his "High school of violin playing". He was involved in much chamber music, and pioneered the Mendelssohn concerto ( he was a close friend of Mendelssohn ). The "Peer" of violin pedagogues. He taught Joachim and Wilhelmj at the Leipzig conservatory. Back to Index

AUGUST WILHELMJ (b.1845-d London 1908) He entered David's class in 1861, having been recommended by Liszt. Wilhelmj was the antithesis of the purist Joachim. He arranged and often transposed Wagner for the violin & piano. Professor in 1894 at The Guildhall School of Music, London. He changed the bow often to produce a powerful tone in Bach's Air which he arranged for the G string. Back to Index

JOSEPH JOACHIM (Jewish, b.Hungary,1831 d.Berlin,1907) A Pupil of Boehm, in Vienna and of David, in Leipzig. Father of German school. The art of interpretation. His bowing was closer to Spohr's than to the French school - He adopted Spohr's right hand attitude at the heel ( a high wrist and elbow as close to body as possible ). Close right hand fingers & heel change with rotary wrist. He discarded Vieuxtemps, Ernst, and Beriot repertoire but favored Tartini, Viotti, Paganini & Spohr ( who said Joachim was quite masterful at his concerti ) as well as contemporary Mendelssohn ( who greatly admired him and taught him how to play his concerto ). Joachim was also Schumann's favorite violinist. Joachim introduced him to Brahms in Dusseldorf. Brahms planned all his works for Joachim, often getting Joachim to advise his on the violin parts of his Symphonies. Bruch dedicated his 1st concerto in g minor to him. Joachim wrote his "Concerto in the Hungarian style". In Hanover Joachim taught Auer. He Played Spohr duets in Russia with Ferdinand Laub ( A Czech teacher in Moscow). From 1869-1907 Joachim was professor at The New Berlin Hochschule, which grew rapidly from nothing. He talked little about technical difficulties and preferred to work mostly on interpretation. His pupils included Von Vecsey, M.Powell and Klengel. Back to Index

ANDRAS MOSER Teacher in Berlin. Collaborated with Joachim on a Violin method.

HENRI MARTEAU (b.1874 d.Germany,1934) A Pupil of Léonard ( he played a Maggini violin ) French schooling. French father/ German mother. Succeeded Joachim as teacher for 10 yrs at The Berlin hochshule in 1908. He suffered from "Germanising" his style. Marteau became a Swedish citizen in 1920, teaching in Prague, Leipzig and Dresden. Exemplary interpreter of Mozart. He also revived the Swedish composer Berwald (1796-1868) and his violin concerto. Max Reger dedicated several works to him. Back to Index

ADOLF BUSCH () Studied at the Cologne conservatoire under Willy Hess ( a Joachim disciple ) and Bram Eldering.( a Hubay pupil ). He studied composition in Bonn with H.Gruters. Was Professor in 1918 at the Berlin Hochschule, succeeding Marteau.

WILLY BURMESTER (1869-1933) A Pupil of Joachim. However, the latter didn't help him with career. He was invited to St. Petersberg by Tchaikovsky after he had played his concerto.

FRANCE around 1700

MICHELE MASCITTI ( 1663-1760 ) and J.P.GUIGNON( 1702-74 ) Were both pupils of Corelli who settled in Paris

REBEL ( 1666-1747 ) Directed the "24 Violons du Roi", a famous string orchestra in France.

DUVAL ( b.1673 d.1728 ) played Corelli.

J.B.SENAILLE (1688-1730) From the 24 Violons played at the court in Modena for 2 years. FRANCOEUR was also a player in the 24 violons. All composers around this period had some Italian influence. Back to Index

CONCERT SPIRITUEL organized in 1725 for religious holidays, when the Operas and Theatres remained closed. The King gave the Tuileries Palace and the Orchestra became the best in Europe. It lasted 65 years, until in 1790, along came the French revolution. Corelli's concerti grossi and Vivaldi's 4 seasons were very popular. French music retained its dominance though. Back to Index

LECLAIR (b.Lyon,1697 d.1764) Encouraged and taught by Somis at the age of 29. He studied in both France & Italy. "French Corelli" he brought together a reconciliation of French & Italian styles. He spent 6 yrs in Holland - Amsterdam was a centre for music publishing. Mysteriously, Leclair died murdered, stabbed. He wrote many accompanied sonatas. Tuned often in concert but played double stops very in tune. He insisted that Allegro means not fast, but gay ( sprightly ). His student was L'Abbe le fils, though it is thought Gavinees may have also studied with him. Leclair laid the foundation for the spectacular rise of the French school in the 1800s. Back to Index

PIERRE GAVINIES ( b.1728 d.1800 ) Basically Gavinies continued where Leclair left. He was slightly influenced by Tartini and the Mannheim school. He grew up in Paris, and his father was a violin maker. He was a Prodigy at the age 13, playing w L'Abbe fil aged 14. Gavinies was always in great demand at the concert spirituel. He was put In prison for an adventure with a countess. In 1762 he became concertmaster and conductor of the Concert Spirituel. In 1773 he became the co-director of Concert Spirituel. He was appointed Professeur at Paris New Conservatoire in 1795. Interestingly, He played Locatelli caprices. His extremely advanced studied "24 Matinees" were published.1800. His 6 concerti are composed following an early model of the French violin concerto. Gavinies sums up a new accomplished French style. He played to Mozart in 1763/4. Pupils of Gavinees were Baudron, Capron, Guenin, Simon LeDuc ( whose French concerti influenced Mozart ), & Paisible who all became composers of violin music. Viotti calls him the "Tartini of France." Back to Index


JEAN-PIERRE GUIGNON (b.1702-d.1774 ) A Corelli pupil. Outrivaled Leclair.

JEAN CASSANEA de MONDOVILLE (1711-72) Was the 1st to use harmonics on violin. Harpsichord more balanced in his sonatas, influencing Mozart. CoDirector of Concert.Spirituels from 1755 to 1762.

LOUIS-GABRIEL GUILLEMAIN (1705-70) Was a student of Somis. Great technician. Committed suicide.

L'ABBE le FILS (b.1727 d.1803) A Prodigy. Retired in 1762 to teach. His "Principes du violon" book was published in 1761. He Foresees Baillot's bow grip. This very accomplished violinist marks the beginning of the leadership of the French school during the following Century.

ANDRE NOEL PAGIN ( b1725 d.85+) He studied with Tartini in Padua, but was criticized for playing too much in the Tartini & Italian style when he returned to Paris in 1747. Legitimate heir of the Tartini tradition in France. He taught La Houssaye.

LA HOUSSAYE ( b.1735 d.1818 ) Also a pupil of Tartini. Taught in Paris Conservatoire until 1802.

JOSEPH BOULOGNE DE SAINT-GEORGES (W.Indies(Fr. father-Native mother,1739-99) He founded the "Concert des Amateurs", later "Concert de la Loge Olympique", (standing) which became best Orchestra in Paris, and perhaps in Europe. He wrote 12 violin concerti, and even used 10ths ! Back to Index


Paris becomes the European Centre for Violin schooling in the 1st half of 1800. The Paris Conservatoire was founded in 1795. The Concert hall opened in 1811, seating 1055 people.

G.B.VIOTTI ( b.1753 d.1824 ) The Father of modern violin playing. He came from a poor Piemonte family - A Noble Marchesa di Voghera takes him to Pugnani. His education cost 20,000+ francs. He was the founder of 19th century French school. He arrived with his Stradivari violin in Paris in 1782, playing his concerto at the Concert Spirituel. with much acclaim. He transformed the French school of Leclair & Gavinees. Viotti composed giving symphonic proportion to his 29 Violin concerti, which influenced Mozart and Beethoven. (Fr.Opera/German Symphs/It.cantabile). Viotti's concerti were in turn influenced by the Paris symphonies of Haydn who he met later after moving to London in 1792. Here Viotti played with the double bass virtuoso, Dragonetti, but was expelled for 3 years to Hamburg. His musical career ended at the age of 43. He returned to London, becoming bankrupt as a wine merchant in 1814. No luck as director of Royal Opera House, in Paris either and he died in UK. His Concerto n22 in a minor was a favorite of Brahms, Joachim & Kreisler; He also wrote "51 Duos for 2 violins", but only composed 1 sonata. Viotti taught Rode, Kreutzer & Adlay. Viotti considered the playing of a perfect scale the most difficult of all achievements. Viotti's bow tone was drawn with a modern sharp attack. Back to Index

P.Baillot + R.Kreutzer + P.Rode : Together represent a fusion of all great traditions since Corelli.

Together they wrote an official "Conservatoire Violin Method" in 1802

J.B.CARTIER A violin teacher and a pupil of Viotti. A collector of music - His printed collections included the Unaccompanied Bach Fugue in C. ( published in 1802. )

RUDOLPHE KREUTZER ( b.Versailles,1766 d.1831 ). Was the son of a German musician. A violin pupil of Anton Stamitz. Later, he was influenced highly by Viotti in Paris. He served on the Conservatoire faculty there for 30 years. Popular Opera composer (with Cherubini & Mehul) He wet the 14 year old Paganini in Genoa - both were mutually impressed. In 1798 he moved to Vienna, where he became friends with Beethoven. However Kreutzer received Beethoven's famous sonata in A very coldly. His "42 Etudes" were written in 1800, designed for his conservatoire students. Of his 19 Violin Concerti, number 19 is written in the grand French tradition. (Joachim thought highly of it). In 1810 Kreutzer broke his Left arm and so he conducted to revive the Concert.Spirituels in 1820s. He taught Lambert Massart, Lafont and Bazzini. Back to Index

PIERRE BAILLOT ( b.1771 d.1842 ) Studied with a Nardini student. His career developed late in life. From 1795-1842 held appointment at Conservatoire & became one of the foremost pedagogues of his time. Versatile playing, he adopted as many manners of playing as there were styles in music. He performed Haydn and Mozart Quartets, the 1700 Classics, Beethoven late Quartets and the violin concerto, as well as the music of Cherubini, Reicha, Spohr and Mendelssohn . In his "L'Art du Violon" ( recently translated and re-published in English ) originally published in 1834, he had produced a monumental violin method. He fingered Bach's Adagio in Cminor from the E flat sonata entirely on the G string. Baillot also wrote 9 Violin concerti Back to Index

PIERRE RODE ( b.1774 d.1830 ) The closest pupil of Viotti ( he paid no fee for his lessons ). He played exclusively Viotti's concerti and composed himself 13 Violin concerti. He toured Holland, Germany, England and Spain, and arrived in St. Petersberg in 1804 where he stayed for up to 5 years. Possessing to perfection his teacher's own style, but with more mildness a more refined tone, he returned to Paris, but unfortunately to an indifferent public ! He had deteriorated at the age of 34. He went on an extended visit to Moscow. Beethoven wrote his last violin sonata in G sonata Op96 for him, when in Vienna. From 1814-19 Rode lived in Berlin, where he wrote his "24 caprices". and his 13 Concerti. He played Mozart's difficult to interpret quartets very well. It is recorded that he used portamento extensively. He owned 2 Stradivari, and taught Mayseder & Bohm. Back to Index

CHARLES LAFONT ( b.Paris,1781 d.1839 ) A child Prodigy. A Pupil of his uncle Bertheaume, moved to Kreutzer, but dissatisfied moved to Rode. He succeeded Rode at czarist court St.Petersberg, but returned by 1815. Challenged Paganini to a contest in Milan, which confirmed popular belief that the French school was the finest in the world. Paganini displayed technical feats, but Lafont had the more powerful tone. Both received extraordinary applause. One day Lafont's carriage overturned and he died while touring S.France. He did not teach. Back to Index

FRANCOIS HABENECK ( b.1781 d.1849 ) A Pupil of his German father who was a band musician. He entered Baillot's class in 1800 and won 1st prize 4 years later. He was known as a violinist and a founder of good orchestral training through 1800. He conducted the Conservatoire orchestra which became the best in Europe, and was praised by Mendelssohn, Paganini (whom he accompanied with Orch. & whose 24 caprices he had studied ) and Wagner. He taught at the Conservatoire for more than 20 years. String coaching was his specialty. He promoted Beethoven's works in Paris. His "Methode theorique et pratique de violon" published in 1835 contains a facsimile of a sketch for a method by Viotti ( written in Viotti's late life & handed down by his heirs ). His Pupils were Lalo, Leonard, Hubert, Alard and Philippe P Sainton ( b. Toulouse,1813 d.1890 ) who in 1844 taught at The RAM, London ) Back to Index

LAMBERT JOSEPH MASSART ( b.Liege,1811 d.1892 ) A Pupil of A.Delaveux. The King sponsored his teaching, but Cherubini didn't accept him at first in the Paris Conservatoire as he was a foreigner. He became a private pupil of Kreutzer. In 1843 he was appointed Professeur at Paris Conservatoire. High priest of the French virtuoso school, who Performed Beethoven's Kreutzer sonata with Liszt. He taught Kreisler, Wieniawski and Sarasate. Back to Index

MARTIN PIERRE MARSICK ( b.near Liege,1848 d.1924 ) Studied with Leonard, Massart and briefly, Joachim. Succeeded Sauzay at the Paris conservatory in 1892. Taught Flesch, Thibaud & Enesco.

DELPHIN ALARD ( b.1815 d.1888 ) Pupil of Baillot and Habeneck. Wrote a tutor. In 1843 taught at the Paris Conservatoire. Taught Sarasate.


Belgium bacame independent in 1830. The links to the Belgium School were : Tartini >> Nardini >> Pollani >> Baillot >> De Beriot.

ANDRE ROBBERECHTS ( b.Brussels,1797 d.1860 ) Studied with Baillot in Paris and for many years with Viotti. Taught De Beriot.

CHARLES DE BERIOT ( b.1802 d.1870 ) Belgian. Studied with Viotti and Baillot, receiving only limited advice. Not a true disciple of that school. He was influenced by Paganini and launched a parallel school in Brussels from 1843 to 1852 when he retired. He wrote "L'Ecole transcendentale" Op123 and 10 violin concerti. (1,7,9) Uses graceful & bouncing bow (cf. German on the string style by Spohr).De Beriot's left arm was paralyzed in 1852. He taught Vieuxtemps. His son taught Granados, Ravel and Vines the pianoforte. Back to Index

HUBERT LEONARD ( b.Belgium,1819 d.1890 ) Studied, as a child, with Rouma, in Liege. He carried Habeneck's teaching to Belgium, where he taught Thomson, Marteau, Martin Marsick, and Ovide Musin

OVIDE MUSIN ( b.1854 d.1929 ) He Established a school in New York. in 1908

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS ( b.Belgium,1820 d.81 ) He began the violin very early at the age of 4 with his father, then studied with Beriot until 1831. He studied counterpoint in Vienna with Sechter 2 yrs later and the next year he studied composition with Reicha ( the teacher of Berlioz ) in Paris. He performed the Beethoven concerto at the age of 14 very well after only 2 weeks study. He lived in St. Petersburg from 1846 to 1851, teaching at the Theatrical school, thus contributing to Russian school. In 1871 he became a teacher at Brussels conservatoire after Beriot. He taught Ysaye. Back to Index

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI ( b.Poland,1835 d.1880 touring Moscow) A Pupil of Serwaczynski, in Warsaw, then from the age of 8 to 13 a pupil of Massart. In 1848 he gave 5 successful concerts in St. Petersburg. He then re-entered next year in the Paris conservatoire to study harmony. He toured Russia with his brother, a pianist. "Souvenir de Moscou", "Ecole Moderne" and his 1st concerto were published before he was aged 18. In 1860 Anton Rubinstein persuaded him to settle in St. Petersburg for 12 yrs. There he played with Rubinstein & Leschetitzky, ( pianist ), Davidoff, and also met Balakirev and Tchaikovsky. He played Beethoven's Quartets, Bach's Chaconne and Viotti concerti. Vieuxtemps' 2nd concerto was considered a masterpiece in Russia. Unfortunately, he disliked the Russian police state & constant surveillance so he left in 1872. In 1874 he accepted a temporary post in the Brussels conservatoire, teaching Ysaye and Lichtenberg. 2 years later he resumed touring Prague, Budapest, Poland, London, Berlin and Russia. Bad health be struck from 1877. His "Amati" violin was sold to Hubay who identified it as a Petrus Guarnerius. Wieniawski wrote "Il faut risquer" in red across difficult passages. His angular, high right elbow, and his 1st finger touching above the 2nd joint on the bow are similar to what Flesch later referred to as the Russian grip. He produced a rapid staccato from tensing his right shoulder. He was a romantic virtuoso whose approach has become an indispensable part of modern playing. Back to Index

EUGENE YSAYE ( b.Liege, Belgium,1858-1931 ) A Pupil of his father at first, then with Rudolphe Massart ( the nephew of the more famous Parisian teacher ) at the Liege conservatoire. He was also a pupil of Wieniawski ( who had temporarily substituted Vieuxtemps ). Vieuxtemps eventually taught him for 3 years, imparting the Franco-Belgian tradition. In 1879 he became concertmaster in Berlin, where he was much admired by Joachim. He toured Scandinavia & Russia with Anton Rubinstein from whom he learnt much about interpretation. In 1883 he settled in Paris. He revived French chamber music and knew César Franck ( Who dedicated his violin Sonata to him in 1886 ), Debussy ( Quartet dedicated in 1893 ), Saint-Saens, Faure, and Chausson ( Whose Poème 1896 was also dedicated to Ysaye ) From . 1886 to 1898 he was professeur at the Brussels conservatory. He was also friends with the Russians Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Taneyev, Cui, Rachmaninov, Rubinstein, Siloti, Auer, and Besekirsky. Later in life a trembling bow and nervousness disturbed him. From 1918 to 1922 he conducted the Cincinnati Orchestra. ( Cincinnati was mostly a German community with a German musical tradition ). Ysaye returned to Brussels & gave master course at Ecole Normale, Paris, which was attended by Thibaud, Enesco and Milstein. Joachim advocated a sparing "quiver" vibrato on expressive notes only, but in contrast Ysaye used a more intensified, French vibrato (from Wieniawski & Vieuxtemps) - almost "sensuous". His sound was thus more modern than Joachim's. He used French portamento (sliding from below). and tempo rubato. Enesco, Thibaud, Kreisler and Elman would often "get together". There was much colour & intensity in Ysaye's exprssion.. He was most fussy about loud accompanists by Orchestras and pianist ( he preferred the organ ). Divides works "Par le violon"( example the Beethoven Violin concerto ) and "Pour le violon". like his 6 un- accompanied violin sonatas which he pblished.1924 Back to Index

CESAR THOMSON ( b.Liege,1857 d.1931 ) Studied with Leonard & succeeded Ysaye at the Brussels conservatoire. Fingered octaves and gymnastic exercises for vibrato.

ARTHUR GRUMIAUX ( b.Belgium, 1921- ) He continued the Belgian school. Studied with ALFRED DUBOIS ( an Ysaye pupil ), and briefly with Enesco. He succeeded Dubois at Brussels Conservatoire in 1949. He recorded all Beethoven's sonatas with Clara Haskil ( only a few available on CD ), and later with Walter Klien for CD. He gave the 1st modern performance of Paganini's lost 4th concerto ( discovered by Gallini ) .Back to Index


A most musical region with parallel developments to the Italian and German baroque masters. The following were all from Bohemia : Jan Stamic ( also known as Stamitz ), Frantisek Benda ( known as Franz Benda ), Ernst, Josef Slawjk ( who settled Vienna in 1825 and was the1st Schubert player). Many Bohemians trained in Vienna, because of Austria's political domination. Prague continued competing with Vienna. Back to Index

The Bohemian String Qt. in 1892 marked a turning point in the history of quartet playing. In fact, much later, in the 20th century, Prague, along with Vienna and Budapest became the three most important centres for the training of string quartets. Back to Index

FRIEDRICH WILHELM PIXIS ( b.Mannheim,1786 d.1842 ) A Pupil of Viotti. Became a significant figure at the Prague Conservatoire when it opened in 1811, bringing the traditions of the Mannheim school allied to Viotti's teaching. Pixis was the teacher of Mildner.

MORITZ MILDNER taught Ferdinand Laub (1832-75, admired by Joachim, & appointed prof. Moscow C in 1866). Also taught Czech Jan Hrimaly, who taught at Moscow after Laub (from 1874-1915)

ANTON BENNEWITZ Taught Sevcik, Kocian & Ondrieck.

FRANTISEK ONDRICEK premiered Dvorak's concerto in 1833, Prague. Back to Index

OTTOKAR SEVCIK ( b.Bohemia,1852 d.1934 ) Was taught at the Prague conservatory ( even though he failed his entrance exam twice !! ) by Anton Bennewitz ( who was a pupil of Moritz Mildner, a pupil of Pixis, a pupil of Viotti in Germany ). Sevcik taught at the Imperial Music school, Kiev, in the Ukraine ( from 1875 to 1892), then at the Prague Conservatoire and at the Vienna Conservatoire ( from 1909 to 1919 ). He returned to Prague in 1919 when the Czechoslovak Republic became established and held International Summer school in Pisek, S.Bohemia. He did much to improve violin technique by adopting the "semitone system". Overall, He taught 5000 pupils including Jan Kubelik, Zacharewitch, Zimbalist, Marie Hall and Joseph Karbulka ( the teacher of P.Stolyarsky ) Back to Index

JAN KUBELIK ( 1880-1940 ) Practiced 12 hrs/day. Automatic perfection - but no rushed tempi; slow. Best at Paganini. Not an entirely successful performing career.

JAROSLAV KOCIAN ( 1883-1950 ) Studied with Sevcik ( from 1896 to 1901 ) then at the Prague Conservatoire . International Concert career from 1907 to 1910. Professor at the Odessa Conservatory, then 1st violin of MECKLENBURG QT, in Petersburg. From 1924 to 1943 professor at the Prague Conservatory. Back to Index

VASA PRIHODA ( 1900-60 ) studied with Marak ( who was a Sevcik pupil). He started out as a Cafe player in Milan, then was discovered by Toscanini. He taught in Munich, and Salzburg, and from 1950 to 1960 at the Vienna Academy Back to Index


Founded privately in 1817, it didn't become a state-supported academy until 1909. The 1st professor was Bohm, then the Hellmesberger family, Dont and Grun. It produced violinists such as Ernst, Joachim, Kreisler, Flesch and Enesco ( though these last 3 perfected their training at the Paris Conservatoire ). Arnold Rose taught from 1893 to 1924 ; he founded Rose Quartet, which was much admired by Brahms. Ernst Moravec ( who taught from 1930 to 66) was a Sevcik pupil. Later Kolisch & Wolfgang Schneiderhan ( both pupils of Sevcik) taught there .Back to Index


JACQUES THIBAUD ( 1880-1953 ) A close pupil of Marsick. He was influenced by Ysaye. There was a mutual admiration between Kreisler, Thibaud & Ysaye. At first he played in the Cafe Rouge Orchestra, but overnight fame came with an ovation after having substituted the concertmeister in Saint-Saens's "Deluge". He had a most refined and elegant French style. Back to Index

FRITZ KREISLER ( b.Vienna,1875 d.1962 ) His teacher were J Hellmesberger jr. and Auer, in Vienna , his theory teacher was Bruckner. He then studied with L Massart ( aged 74 ) at the Paris conservatoire. His Frenchified Viennese style was unique. He disregarded "sons file" ( a spun out tone ) for short intense strokes all performed in the middle of the bow. He was only 12 years old when graduated with 1st prize. However, he failed his audition at the Vienna Opera ( as he couldn't sight-read or blend his style very well with the other musicians ), but 2 years later he performed as soloist with same Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter. He played Bruch's 2nd concerto. Elgar's concerto was dedicated to him. In 1902 he married young Harriet Lies, his manager and organizer. ( she would often refrain him from gambling away all his money ) Kreisler played with Busoni and Rachmaninoff. In 1914 he was wounded in the Austrian army, Russian front ( limp ). He toured America until anti German demonstrations. Resumed Europe & America later. Influenced Szigeti, Oistrakh, Thibaud and Milstein. In 1943 he became a US citizen. His direct approach in concerts made him turn full face to audience. He vibrated continuously ( cf. Wieniawski and Ysaye ). His late recordings are sometimes slightly out of tune ( due to deafness ), though his many, many earlier recordings are prized by almost every well-educated violinist.. He wrote hundreds of little pieces, Viennese melodies. He had a lasting impact on 20th century violin playing. Back to Index

BRONISLAV HUBERMAN ( b.Poland,1882 d.1947 ) A Pupil of Mihalowicz, and especially of Grigorovich ( a pupil of Besekirsky ), Heermann in Frankfurt and Marsick in Paris. Brahms was overwhelmed by Huberman's performance of his violin concerto. He survived a plane crash in the Dutch east Indies in 1937. He used a pure finger only vibrato, and German style portamenti ( like Joachim who influenced him ). Back to Index

OLE BULL ( b.Norway,1810-1880 ) Norway belonged to Sweden ; it gained independence in 1905. Bull studied a little with a Baillot pupil, Spohr didn't care, imitated Paganini but belonged to no school. His head and chin were free from clenching and he used a chinrest across the tailpiece, a very flat bridge for chords which he developed from a folk fiddle. Used a long and heavy bow. He had a Gaspar da Salo violin. Toured Europe & Russia, where he was well received. Tried to form Norwegian colony in America, but swindled. He Sent the 15 year old Grieg to Leipzig for training. He played many national folk tunes. Back to Index

PABLO DE SARASATE () At the age of 5 learnt with father, then studied with Alard in Paris, and also with Reber. Franco-Belgian influence. He was a prodigy, and at the age of 10 received a Stradivari violin from Queen Isabella, of Spain. Bruch's 2nd concerto, Bruch's Scottish fantasy, Saint Saens' Concerti 1 & 3, and Rondo capriccioso, Lalo's Sy.Espagnole and 1st Concerto, Dvorak's Mazurek, Joachim's Variations Op11 and Wieniawski's 2nd conc. were all dedicated to him !! He, himself, wrote elegant Spanish dances. He didn't like Brahms's concerto, but played Mendelssohn's with little vibrato ( it was a very slow and very wide vibrato which almost sounded like no vibrato ) and often used harmonics. His very graceful Staccato volant was sometimes played near the extreme tip of the bow. His perfectly "clean" playing was actually played with a small tone, and unforced bowing, never more than a Mezzo Forte; pastel shades - he had small hands ( not for Paganini or Ernst compositions ). He used a modern Gand Strad model to practice on. Back to Index


HEINRICH WILHELM ERNST ( Jew,Brno,Moravia,1814-1865 ) In 1825 he entered Boehm's class at the conservatoire. Then spent 6 years studying with de Beriot in Paris. Very impressed in 1828 by hearing Paganini, who he tried to emulate. Travelled around to listen to Paganini's concerts and practice habits. Ernst travelled across Europe and into Russia. He played the viola in Berlioz' Harold in Italy under the direction of the composer. He played quartets at the Beethoven society with Joachim, Wieniawski & the Cellist Alfredo Piatti. Expressive & much admired playing characterized by portamenti (glissandi). Played with a Strad violin and a Tourte bow (lucky ). Transcribed Schuberts Erlking for solo violin. Also wrote "6 polyphonic studies", and Concerto pathetique Op23. The Ultimate in violin virtuosity. Back to Index

JACOB DONT (1815-88) Pupil of Bohm at Vienna conserv. Taught Auer.Back to Index


JOSEPH BOHM ( Pest-Hungary,1795-1876 ) A Prodigy. A pupil of his father and a few lessons from Rode. Appointed professor. at the Vienna conservatoire ( form 1819-1948 ) He also played Beethoven & Schubert Quartets with a fine art of phrasing. He had many pupils; Hubay, Ernst, Hauser, Joachim, Hellmesgerger, Dont and Grun. Back to Index

JENO HUBAY ( Budapest,1858-1937 ) He studied with his father, then 3 years with Joachim, then Vieuxtemps, in Paris. Succeeded Vieuxtemps's teaching post in Brussels for 4 yrs, then returned to Budapest, where he taught for almost half a century, founding the Hungarian Violin school. He taught Jelly D'Aranyi, Szekely, Szigeti, Telmanyi, Vegh, and Eugene Ormandy. Back to Index

FRANZ VON VECSEY ( Budapest,1893-1935 ) Studied with Hubay, then Joachim. Competed with Auer's Elman. Sibelius dedicated his concerto to 17 yr. old Vecsey. Back to Index

JOSEF SZIGETI ( 1892-1973 ) Studied with a member of Budapest Opera Orch., then with Hubay. Later taken by Hubay to Joachim, but Szigeti found Joachim's teaching too cold - verbal instruction without violin in hand; so he refused. Many contemporary composers dedicated works to him. He played Bartok, Bloch (concerto premiere), Milhaud, Roussel, Prokofiev's 1st concerto, Ravel, Stravinsky & Honegger. He also recorded Bach's solo sonatas, Beethoven & Brahms. He declined a teaching job at the Leningrad conservatory, but inspired the young L.Kogan. More musicianship than a technician. Back to Index

EMIL TELMANYI ( 1892- ) Studied at the Budapest Academy with Hubay. The BUDAPEST Quartet were originally Hungarians; 1917 Debut. By 1936 All 4 were Russian. National identity maintained in HUNGARIAN QT 1935-70 (ZOLTAN SZEKELY) and the Vegh quartet ( Founded by Sandor Vegh in 1940 ). Back to Index

CARL FLESCH ( 1873-1944 ) Student of Marsick, at the Paris Conservatoire. Taught Hassid. Back to Index


SANDOR VEGH Was Musical director at the biannual International Musicians' Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, UK.


After studying in a preparatory school or with Stoliarsky in Odessa, for example, at the age of 17 or 18 admission would be made to enter a Soviet Conservatoire.

Teachers at the Leningrad conservatory included Sergei Korguyev (t.1900-25), Maria Gamovetskaya (t.1912-31), and Miron Poliakin (1895-1941). Yuri.Eidlin, who taught MIKHAIL VAINMAN (1926-1977) and BORIS GUTNIKOV (1931-1986). Back to Index.


LEOPOLD (VON) AUER ( b.Hungary,1845-1930 ) A Pupil of Ridley Kohne, at the Budapest Conservatory, using Alard's method. Also a pupil of Dont, and had lessons with Joachim from 1863 to 1865. Recommended by A Rubinstein as a suitable replacement for Wieniawski at St. Petersburg, for 49 yrs ( from 1868 to 1917), leaving in the year of the revolution. Founder of the Russian school. His assistant was Nalbandyan, teaching at the faculty until 1942. Auer taught ,Elman, Heifetz, Milstein, Seidel, Zimbalist, Parlow, Shumsky, Lubov and Sigal. Used different fingerings for each individual's needs. as well as different approaches. Auer insisted that open string pieces for a year gave his pupils a better tone later on. Back to Index

PIOTR STOLYARSKY ( b.Kiev,1871-1944 ). Studied with his father, then with S.Barcewitcz in Warsaw, then with Emil Mlynarski and Josef Karbulka at Odessa. There he founded his private school in 1911, teaching children from the age of 4 : general education and other activities were reduced to a minimum. Though ignored at first, his studio was eventually incorporated into the Odessa Conservatory in the early 1920s. In 1939 received the title "People's Artist of the Soviet Ukraine". He founded the Odessa School of violin playing. Back to Index

ABRAM ILICH YAMPOLSKY ( 1890-1956 ) Graduated from Korguyev's class in Petersburg in 1913. Founder of modern soviet school. Pupils include L.Kogan, Yulian Sitkovetsky, Igor Bezrodniy, Boris Goldstein, Elisabet Gilels, Mikhail Fiklengol'ts, Yakov Rabinovich, Isaac Zhuk, Mark Lubotsky. He was the uncle of Izrail Markovich Yampolsky ( Kiev,1905-76 ) who graduated with him in 1930. He also taught Yankelevich.Back to Index

YURI YANKELEVICH ( Basle,1909-73 ) Studied with Yampolsky at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, until 1936 when he taught there, continuing Yampolsky's principles. Taught Vladimir Spivakov, Viktor Tretiakov ( Tchaikovsky 66 ), Inna Bochkora, Shkolnikova, Albert Markov. Wrote books and gave seminars. Back to Index

KONSTANTIN MOSTRAS A Pupil of Sibor. Taught from 1914 at the School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society, and from 1922 at the Moscow Conservatory. Taught Galamian, M.Terian, and M.Yashvili. Wrote many technical books on the violin.Back to Index


NATHAN MILSTEIN( Odessa,1904- recently ) Aged 7 went to Stoliarsky, in Odessa. Aged 12 studied with Auer. Toured with Horowitz and Piatigorsky. Emigrated to the USA. Back to Index

MISCHA ELMAN ( Odessa, 1891-1967 ) Prodigy and first famous young pupil of Auer. Back to Index

DAVID OISTRAKH ( Odessa,1908-74 ) . From age 5 to 18 studied with Stoliarsky. Imitated Kreisler from recordings. From 1930-7 won much recognition from competitions. Junior teaching position at Moscow conservatory in 1939. International career began in 1950s. Concertos by Khatchaturian 1940 (Armenian folk), Myaskovsky 1938, Prokofiev & Shostakovich (1&2), Kabalevsky ( 1948 ) dedicated to him as well as sonatas by Prokofiev & Shostakovich (- for 60th Birthday). Taught Oleg Kagan ( Sibelius 65 ), Valery Klimov, Gidon Kremer, Victor Pickeisen, Lydia Mordkovich, the Bulgarian Stoika Milanova ( who won first prize in the Carl Flesch competition in 1970 ).

LEONID KOGAN ( 1924-82 ) Studied with Yampolsky ( hence Auer's influence ). Imitated Szigeti. More modern & less romantic than Oistrakh. Played Brahms' concerto, Paganini's 24 caprices, Berg's concerto. He won the Queen Elizabeth competition in Brussels in 1951. From 1952 taught ( coldly ) at the Moscow conservatory. Many Soviet composers dedicated works to him - K.Karayev, T.N.Khrennikov, Khatchaturian's Concert Rhapsody. Very pure technique & tone. He taught Andrei Korsakov and Viktoria Mullova. Back to Index

VLADIMIR SPIVAKOV Studied at the Leningrad Conservatoire under Lubov Sigal ( a pupil of Auer ).

JULIAN SITKOVETSKY Educated prior, and during the second World War, he was one of the former Soviet Union's most gifted and revered virtuosos. Many Russian music authorities regarded him as the brightest violin star of a generation that included Leonid Kogan (a class mate), David Oistrakh, Michael Waiman, and Boris Goldstein. A pupil of Abram Yampolsky, the famed Russian pedagogue, Sitkovetsky's path and struggle to artistic recognition proved an arduous one and in the end, only partially successful. In the West he remained little known and several violin competitions, in Russia and abroad, brought him only 2nd prize. In one or two of them there were rumours of political manipulations which allegedly deprived him of the first prizes ( The 1952 Wieniawski Competition in Poznan and The 1955 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium) , although in his early days he did share the coveted place with his mate Leonid Kogan in The 1945 Russian Competition. In his late twenties he married the pianist Bella Davidovich ( now living in New York ) and the couple had one son, Dmitri, now a well-known international concert violinist and conductor. At the age of 32 Julian Sitkovetsky fell ill and cancer of the lung was diagnosed. He died in a Moscow hospital a few month after his 33rd birthday. The recordings that he left are impressive - an awe-inspiring Sibelius Concerto and an equally exquisite Tchaikovsky Concerto - and numerous chamber works, sonatas and short pieces, some recorded with his wife-pianist. Julian Sitkovetsky's art combined technical brilliancy with attractive sonority and projected some of the best qualities of the so-called Russian school and conception of playing. Adding to that were of few personal touches, such as an inimitable rubato, a phenomenal musical memory and a digital dexterity second to none. On a personal level he was highly respected and much loved by his fellow musicians and some of his colleagues world-wide, such as Menuhin, Senofsky and Stern, had tried to came his rescue by providing support during his illness. Sitkovetsky's dream was that his son would one day also become a violinist and although his dream became a sweeping reality, he did not live to see it happen.



Many Jewish violinists, with origins mainly in Hungary, Poland and Russia took exodus and moved to America. So many achieved International status in the USA that once Stern remarked " They send us their Jews from Odessa, and we send them our Jews from Odessa ".

IVAN GALAMIAN ( b.Iran,1903 d.1981 ) He had Armenian parents who brought him to Russia at the age of 2 months. At 8 years of age was sent to the School of the Philharmonic Society, Moscow, to study with Konstantin Mostras ( a pupil of Sibor ). In 1917 he fled to Germany and finally arrived in Paris to become a pupil of Lucien Capet. In 1930 he was appointed Vice president of the Russian Conservatoire in Paris, and he was a member of the faculty at the Ecole Normal de Musique in Paris from 1936 until 1939 when he emigrated to the USA. In America he held appointments to the faculties of the Curtis Institute and Julliard, and the establishment of his own summer school at Meadowmount. At the age of 75 he still taught exclusively from his private apartment in New York, except during the Summer months when classes were moved to his famous Meadowmount School in the Adironack Mountains at Westport, New York. One detail about his teaching concerns the left hand position changing technique reffered to as "creeping" fingers ( as had taught Babitz in 1947, and L'Abbe le fils back in 1761 ). In his book "The Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching" he sums up his main principles : " Interpretation is the final goal of all instrumental study, its only reason d'être. Technique is merely the means to an end, the tool to be used in the service of artistic interpretation. For successful performance, therefore, the possession of the technical tools alone is not sufficient. In addition, the player must understand the meaning of the music thoroughly, must have creative imagination and a personal approach to the work if his rendition is to be lifted above the dry and the pedantic. His personality must be neither self-effacing nor aggressively obtruding. " In America he taught many students, including Michael Rabin, Perlman, Zuckerman, Jamie Laredo and the Korean, Kyung Wha Chung. Back to Index

LOUIS PERSINGER ( Illinois,1887-1966 ) Trained at the Leipzig conservatory, before finishing with Ysaye, in Brussels. Became leader of The Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and the Royal Opera Orchestra in Brussels. In 1915 he was appointed leader and assistant conductor to the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He succeeded Auer in 1930 at the Julliard school, in New York. He taught Menuhin, (Stern) and Ricci.

JOSEF GINGOLD ( Russia,1909 ) Emigrated to the USA in 1920. A Pupil of Vladimir Graffman, in New York., then for 2 years studied with Ysaye in Brussels. Became a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini, and then leader of the Detroit and later the Cleveland Symphony Orchestras. In Cleveland, where he remained for 15 years, he was also the soloist in 15 concertos. In 1960 he joined the faculty of the Indiana University Music School at Bloomington, becoming a distinguished Professor of Music. Gave Masterclasses at the Paris Conservatoire and at the Toho Music School in Tokyo. . He was a member of the jury of a number of violin competitions including the Queen Elisabeth, Paganini, Wieniawski, Leventritt, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky competitions. Teaches in New York. Back to Index

ISAAC STERN ( b.Ukraine,1920 living ) student of NAUM BLINDER ( b.1889 a pupil of BRODSKY at the MOSCOW Conservatory ) Became concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony. Stern moved to San Francisco when he was 1 yr. old. He is the driving force behind the "American-Israel Cultural Foundation", sponsoring violinists like I.PERLMAN, P.ZUKERMAN, S.MINTZ & M.FREID. He saved Carnegie Hall in 1960 Back to Index

YEHUDI MENUHIN ( 1916- living )


HENRYK SZERYNG ( b.Warsaw,1918- recently ) Studied with Maurice Frenkel, a former pupil and assistant of Auer, in St. Petersburg. He then studied for 3 years with Flesch, at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1954 he became a Mexican citizen. He Found, assembled and premiered Paganini's lost 3rd concerto. Back to Index

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