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Marcel Cuvelier
Belgium, °1899 - 1959
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Necil Kazim Akses
Turkey, °1908 - 1999
Necil Kâzım Akses was a member of the The Turkish Five group, the pioneer and founding generation of composers of contemporary Turkish music.

Son of Mehmet Kâzım, director in communication services at the Ministry of War and Emine Hanım, professor of literature and Directress at Kandilli Girls’ High School (İstanbul), Necil Kâzım Akses began to play the violin in his primary school years and at the age of fourteen became a student of cello, his instructors being Mesud Cemil and Sezai Asal. In the final years of his education at the İstanbul Lycée, he attended the classes (harmony) at the İstanbul Municipal Conservatory (Darülelhan) of Cemal Reşid Rey, who later was to become the senior member of the Turkish Five group. After graduating from high school in 1926, he was sent by his parents to Vienna to study music. In the Vienna Music Academy, he became a student of Joseph Marx in composition and of Walther Kleinecke in cello. A year later, he gained a scholarship offered by the Turkish Government. He received his masters degree from this Academy and continued his musical studies at the Prague State Conservatory, from where he obtained his advanced degrees. At the Prague Conservatory, masters such as Josef Suk and Alois Haba were his teachers.

Necil Kâzım Akses returned home in 1934. The same year, he was appointed professor and Deputy Director in the School of Music Instructors in Ankara. In the following two years, he assisted German composer Paul Hindemith, who was invited to Turkey by the Ministry of Education for the establishment of the Ankara State Conservatory. He was appointed teacher of composition in 1936 to this newly established institution. The same year, he joined a research expedition carried out in Osmaniye, a borough of Adana, together with Bela Bartok, Adnan Saygun and Ulvi Cemal Erkin. In the various stages of his career, he also rendered his services as administrator to some important cultural and artistic institutions in Turkey: in 1948, he was appointed director of the Conservatory and in 1949 became the Director General of the Fine Arts of the Ministry of National Education. He acted as a Cultural Attaché in Bern in 1954 and in Bonn between 1955 and 1957. Between 1958-1960, he was the Director General of The State Opera and Ballet. In 1971, he undertook the same position again until his retirement in 1972.

In 1971, Necil Kâzım Akses was elected as the founding member of the board of directors as well as Acting President of Centre Mediterranéen de Musique Comparée et de Danse. Throughout his career he became the recipient of many honours: First class service medal of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957; Italian government’s service medals, the rank of Cavaliére Ufficiale in 1963 and Commendatore in 1972; Bourgiba Art and Culture medal of Tunisia in 1973, the title of State Artist of Turkish Republic in 1971; Atatürk Art Award in 1981; honorary doctorate degree of the İstanbul University in 1998.

Amongst some of his works performed abroad are: Ankara Kalesi (Citadel of Ankara), was performed by the Berlin State Orchestra under the baton of Fritz Zaun, and was recorded by Polydor company in 1943. Ballad, being the most frequently performed work of the composer abroad starting from 1950, was performed in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Münster, Paris, Teplice, Cluj, Brussels, Vienna, Bucharest, Tunisia, Prague and Moscow. His Poem was performed by the RAI Symphony Orcestra in Rome in 1949 with conductor Franco Caraccioto and Antonio Saldarelli being the solo cellist. Itri’nin Neva Kâr’ı Üzerine Scherzo (Scherzo on Neva Kâr by Itri) was performed in Sofia, Moscow, Cairo and Budapest. First Symphony was performed by the Vienna Tonkünstler Symphony Orchestra with conductor G. E. Lessing in 1968, and was again performed in 1972, together with the Violin Concerto under the baton of Niyazi Tagizade with Azerbeijan State Symphony Orchestra in Baku. His Second Symphony was performed in Turkmenistan by Orkestra Saz under the direction of Muhammed Nazar Mommadov in 1997. Violin Concerto was performed by the NDR - Radio Philarmonie Orchestra with conductor Rengim Gökmen and violinist Cihat Aşkın, together with other Turkish symphonic works in EXPO 2000 Hannover World Fair. In the 1990’s, his String Quartets (No.s 1 and 4) were played in such European cities as Dusseldorf, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Pecs and Helsinki.

Necil Kâzım Akses is mostly known as a composer of large scale symphonic forms. His compositions could be viewed in various evolving stages. From the 1929 to the late 30’s, he composed such works as Preludes and Fugues for Piano, Sonata for Piano, Flute-Piano Sonata, Allegro Feroce and upon return to his homeland, another one-act opera entitled Bayönder (The Leader). The period covering these years can be characterised as a quest and search for creating an individual atonal style. As it was the case with other composers of his generation, in his early works, the influences of traditional Turkish music and folk music can be traced. However Akses, did not use these elements directly but rather stylized them.
By the 1940s, he entered a new period in which, specifically in his symphonic works, an Akses style started to emerge and this style became more evident. This style is linked on the one hand to Turkish modes melodically, and on the other to the concept of a-modality harmonically. Large scale works such as Ankara Kalesi (Citadel of Ankara), Ballade, First Symphony, Violin Concerto, Scherzo On Itri’s Nevakâr, Ten Piano Pieces can be cited as the compositions of this period. His orchestration was gradually became denser. Starting with Bir Divandan Gazel in 1976 he started his last composing period. In this advanced mature period, Akses also produced works for soloists, chorus and large orchestra. In his writing, which became even denser, he used many of the techniques of the 20th century, most notably aleatory music.

In 1985, he started composing his Sixth Symphony entitled Immortal Heroes for bariton solo, chorus and orchestra. He dedicated this work to Çanakkale (Dardanelles) martyrs. This symphony remained unfinished.

Necil Kâzım Akses taught in the Ankara State Conservatory until the end of his life. At the time he died, he was teaching composition also at the Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. Besides being a composer, Necil Kâzım Akses, is also distinguished and respected as the tutor of many composers of younger generations.

Copyrights of his works are held by SACEM.
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Yvonne Astruc
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Oskar Back
Hungary (Republic), The Netherlands, °1879 - 1963
Oskar Back (1879-1963) was a Dutch violinist and teacher of Hungarian origin. He studied at the conservatories in Vienna and Brussels (with Eugène Ysaÿe and César Thomson), and taught at the Brussels Conservatory from 1910 to 1918. In 1919 he settled in The Netherlands and was one of the distinguished violinists who supplemented the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mengelberg for the historic Mahler Festival of 1920.

Oskar Back devoted himself chiefly to teaching, first with private lessons and later at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum and the Rotterdam Conservatory. He taught most of the leading Dutch violinists and orchestral leaders, among whom are Herman Krebbers, Theo Olof, Willem Noske, Jo Juda, Emmy Verhey and Jean Louis Stuurop; he also taught a number of foreign students, including Alma Moodie. The Oskar Back Foundation was set up after his death to provide assistance for talented young Dutch violinists; it organizes a national violinists' competition, held every other year.
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Désiré Defauw
Belgium, °1885 - 1960
Désiré Defauw (1885-1960) began studying violin at the Ghent Conservatory at the age of seven and later attended the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. After touring Europe as a violin soloist, in 1906 he was selected to lead the New Symphony Orchestra of London, specializing primarily in contemporary repertoire. He also appeared as guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic as well as with orchestras in Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Moscow, Leningrad, and Budapest.

Admired and praised by both Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel, Désiré Defauw assumed the directorship of the Concerts du Conservatoire, Belgium's leading orchestra, and later of the Belgian National Radio. He was master professor of the conducting and orchestra classes at the Royal Conservatory, and, in 1937 established the National Orchestra of Belgium, a permanent national orchestra.

Désiré Defauw made his American debut in 1939, conducting four performances with Toscanini's NBC Orchestra. He was signed as permanent conductor of the Montreal Symphony after conducting only one concert and served in that capacity from 1941 until 1953. He led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1943 to 1947. He introduced Chicago audiences to the works of several contemporary composers, including Barber, Bloch, Carpenter, Chadwick, Copland, Elgar, Goldmark, Milhaud, Sibelius, Walton, and Warlock. Following his tenure in Chicago, Désiré Defauw also served as music director of the Gary Symphony Orchestra in Indiana (1950- 1958).
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Zino Francescatti
France, °1902 - 1991
Of Italian background, violinist Zino Francescatti was born in Marseilles in 1902. His real name was René-Charles Francescatti. Both his parents played the violin, and his father René had been a student of Paganini. The younger Francescatti performed the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 at his official Paris debut in 1925.

By that time he was already an experienced performer. He gave his first concert at age 5 and played the Beethoven violin concerto at 10. From his late teens he concertized regularly, and after arriving in Paris in 1924 he formed a duo with none less than Maurice Ravel and embarked on an international tour. In the 1920s and 1930s Francescatti toured the globe, although his U.S. debut didn't come until 1939, once again with the Paganini Concerto No. 1, in a New York Philharmonic concert.

Despite his fondness for Paganini, Zino Francescatti was more identified with elegant, natural-seeming playing than with sheer virtuoso fireworks. Later in life he toured and recorded with the similarly fluid French pianist Robert Casadesus in duo repertory; they recorded a complete set of Beethoven's violin and piano sonatas, lyrical works ideally suited to their combined styles. Living in New York but often returning to France to perform and teach, he made durable recordings of several major repertory works, including the Beethoven concerto with conductor Bruno Walter and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Zino Francescatti retired in 1976, moved back to France, and sold his prized Stradivarius instrument to Salvatore Accardo. In 1987 he used part of the proceeds to establish an educational foundation and a violin competition in the city of Aix-en-Provence.
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Sadanori Maki
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Yehudi Menuhin
Great Britain, Switzerland, °1916 - 1999
Yehudi Menuhin was born in New York of Russian-Jewish parents, but later became a British subject. He made his violin debut at the age of seven with the San Francisco Symphony in Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, following this with a recital in New York a year later. By the time he was eleven he had made his historic debuts in Paris and Carnegie Hall, at twelve in Berlin and at thirteen in London, thus launching himself at an early age on a career that was to take him all over the world for the ensuing decades, playing with all the leading conductors and orchestras. In addition to his renown as a great musician he is equally recognized for his committed humanism, exemplified by his interest in and work for the young, for international understanding, and all the many causes he finds close to his synoptic mind and generous spirit.

lt was on his first visit to lndia in 1952 at the invitation of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, that he met Ravi Shankar, developing a deep admiration for both Shankar and Indian music. Subsequently, they gave many concerts together and made numerous recordings which sold into the millions; the proceeds of all the coneerts given on his tours of India were donated to charity. In 1960 he was awarded the Nehru Peace Prize for International Understanding. Some thirty years later, in 1992, he was honoured with the title of Ambassador of Goodwill to UNESCO.

In recognition of the many concerts he gave for the Allied Forces during the second World War, flying over from America whenever he could find space in a military plane, Yehudi Menuhin was awarded numerous honours, amongst which were the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Lorraine from France, the Order of Merit from Germany, the Ordre Leopold and the Ordre de la Couronne from Belgium, from England the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal and in 1995 from Spain the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Merito Civil. Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a knighthood on him in 1965 and gave him the Order of Merit in 1987, followed by a life peerage in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 1993.

He is an Honorary Doctor of over 30 universities in different countries, including those of Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrew's and the Sorbonne as weil as being a Freeman of the cities of Edinburgh, Bath, Reims and Warsaw and holding the Gold Medals of the cities of Paris, New York and Jerusalem. He was also the first Westerner to be made an Honorary Professor of the Beijing Conservatoire in recognition of his concerts in China and of his endeavours in helping many young Chinese violinists to continue their studies in the West.

In 1963 he achieved one of his greatest ambitions, creating a boarding school for promising young musicians, starting from the age of seven and based on the Central School of Moscow, where the students receive both their scholastic and musical education under one roof. Numerous students of the Yehudi Menuhin School, which is officially associated with its Moscow equivalent, have gone on to earn university scholarships.
In 1977 he founded the International Menuhin Music Academy for young graduate string players in Gstaad, Switzerland, the site of the Menuhin Music Festival, of which he was artistic director for 40 years and for which he was awarded Swiss citizenship.

Yehudi Menuhin made his first record at the age of twelve and a year later began his long association with HMV/EMI, with whom he continued to record for many years. He has also recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (the complete Beethoven sonatas with Wilhelm Kempff) and conducted numerous orchestral works for Philips, Virgin, Nimbus and other labels. A great number of his early recordings have been reissued on CD on the occasion of his 75th and 80th birthdays by Biddulph Recordings, and IMG Records issued a boxed set of the complete Beethoven symphonies, performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Lord Menuhin.
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Philip Newman
Great Britain, °1904 - 1966
Philip Newman (1904-1966) was born in Manchester, the son of Harris Newman, cantor of Manchester's Great Synagogue. Cantor Newman, from Lodz in Poland, was considered one of the finest cantors of his day, gifted as both singer and musician. Philip's sister, Pearl, and brother Montague were also talented musicians. Philip became a pupil of Adolph Brodsky at the Royal Manchester College of Music, entering the College in 1917 aged 13 and leaving in 1920 without taking a diploma.

In 1924 Brodsky advised him to attend the Brussels Conservatoire to study with Albert Zimmel, Ysaÿe's first assistant. After just one year, he won the 'Premier Prix de Violon' with maximum marks and distinction, playing the very difficult Violin Concerto in F sharp minor Op. 23 by H. W. Ernst. During his time in Brussels he also studied with the violinists Henri van Hecke and Cesar Thomson. At this time he became the friend of Antoine, the son of Eugene Ysaÿe, who asked him to perform Ysaÿe's 4th Solo Sonata for his father but Newman refused saying that he did not think himself ready to play for the man who from an early age he had considered to be the supreme violinist. Six years later Antoine was to become Newman's manager.

Philip Newman spent the years 1928 to 1932 in Berlin studying with Willy Hess who was by then Germany's foremost violinist, and had been a pupil of the great Joseph Joachim. Here he learned a style different to that of the Belgian school of which he was by now a fine exponent. In Berlin he was exposed to the height of musical culture, and Newman planned that after studying with Hess he would move on to study in other conservatoires with Henri Marteau and then finally to Ottokar Sevcik, but these plans were not be fulfilled.

In 1931 Philip Newman went to Ysaÿe's house as Ysaÿe was dying. Climbing the stairs he took out his violin and performed the master's 4th Solo Violin Sonata dedicated to Fritz Kreisler, the very work he was so reluctant to play previously. The last notes that Ysaÿe heard were those played by Philip Newman. The last words that Ysaÿe spoke, were to Philip Newman, 'Splendid... but the finale... a little too fast...' At Ysaÿe's funeral Newman took the strings which he had previously taken from his violin and tied them around a wreath which he placed on Ysaÿe's grave.

Philip Newman's first major recital took place in his hometown of Manchester in the mid 1920's, for which his father had hired the Free Trade Hall. However his first big concert was in Ostend where he performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto. For some unaccountable reason his official British debut with orchestra did not take place until 1935, again in the Manchester Free Trade Hall.

In 1951 Philip Newman began his long service as a judge of the Queen Elisabeth Competition which had replaced the Ysaÿe Violin Competition. For many years he was also a member of the panel of judges at the Tchaikovsky Violin Competition in Moscow where he represented the British Council. In 1937 Philip Newman had been introduced to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, becoming her personal professor of the violin. The Queen had for many years devoted much of her time to the violin and had performed privately with many distinguished musicians, she herself was a great patron of the arts and an accomplished violinist. In 1964, the Queen was involved with such outstanding musicians as Casals, Stravinsky, Schweitzer and Newman in the founding of the Symphonicum Europaea. The Queen attended most of Newman's concerts, and presented him with a gold mounted bow by Francois Tourte, one of the world's finest bow makers. The long association with Queen Elisabeth ended with her death in 1965.

In 1942 Philip Newman took refuge in Portugal and finally arrived in Lisbon where he became the first non-national Professor of the violin at the National Academy of Music. During his long stay in that city he organised and promoted concerts for charity including many for the International Red Cross. In that same year he acquired a fine Guarnerius del Gesu dated 1741 which had been purchased for his use by his cousin Isaac Wolfson. Many years before that Ysaÿe had contemplated buying the same violin. The violin was the favourite instrument of the virtuoso Henri Vieuxtemps (at Vieuxtemps' funeral it was carried behind his coffin on a velvet cushion and is now known as the ex-Vieuxtemps), and is considered one of the finest violins in existence by both experts and players alike.

During the remainder of the war years, Philip Newman devoted even more time to giving concerts for refugees, later extended to concerts for under-privileged people in Africa. In 1950 he left Portugal to tour England, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany, receiving excellent reviews from both critics and fellow musicians. On 22 and 23 November he appeared again in Manchester's Free Trade Hall playing the Beethoven Concerto Violin Concerto with the Halle Orchestra conducted by John Barbirolli. In 1954 he agreed to undertake 28 concerts in the Belgian Congo and Angola, but just before finalising the details, he received news that his father had died; nonetheless he continued the tour as planned. He met Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, and towards the end of the tour visited Johannesburg where it is known that he recorded works by Paganini and the Beethoven Violin Concerto for the South African Broadcasting Company.

On his return to Europe, Philip Newman joined his old friend Casals to play at the opening of the Prades Festival. The Festival of Pollensa, which Newman founded in 1962, became the major activity of his remaining years. A galaxy of artists appeared with him during the September Festival events. One year's programme had Ruggiero Ricci, Pierre Fournier and Friedrich Guida. Newman's last concert took place on 4th September 1966 at the Festival and the last piece of music he ever played was at the request of a journalist the same evening. It was the Recitative and Scherzo Caprice by Kreisler. A tour of the Soviet Union was planned but Philip Newman died of a heart attack in his hotel room in Majorca on 23 November 1966, one year to the day after his beloved friend Queen Elisabeth. Ironically, he was that very evening to have taken part in a television broadcast to mark the anniversary of her death.

Throughout his career Philip Newman received many honours and awards. In Belgium, he was an Officer of the Order of the Crown. Portugal awarded him its highest honour, Knight Commander of St. James of the Sword, and for his work during the war years the Order of St. John together with the Order of Christ. He was also awarded the Ysaÿe and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium medals and later decorated with the Order of Merit and the Order of Leopold. Yet another distinction was a commissioned oil painting which now hangs in the National Gallery, Lisbon.
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Ricardo Odnoposoff
Austria, °1914 - 2004
Ricardo Odnoposoff was born to Russian immigrants in Buenos Aires. The young man's exceptional musical talent induced his parents to strive for a musical education for him in Europe. An attempt to study with Leopold Auer, was unsuccessful, as the legendary teacher of several generations of violinists who for decades dominated the international musical scene (among them Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, and Misha Elman), hesitated because of his advanced age to take on such a young pupil. Therefore, upon the recommendation of Erich Kleiber, Ricardo Odnoposoff studied with the concertmaster Rudolf Deman in Berlin, and after only a few months changed to the studio of Carl Flesch.

Ricardo Odnoposoff received his diploma in 1932 after four years of study, but there was another event in that year which had more decisive consequences for the young violinist. In June, the eighteen year old was awarded a prize at the First International Competition for Voice and Violin in Vienna, and the interest of those in influential musical circles was awakened, among them Vienna State Opera director Clemens Krauss. The concertmasters of the opera and of the Philharmonic at the time, Arnold Rosé, Julius Stwertka and Franz Mairecker, were on average over 60 years old. As far back as 1923, Richard Strauss had noted the difficulties of the long-time concertmaster Karl Prill, which led to the violin solo in Strauss' Bürger als Edelmann being performed by Heinrich Schwarz. Prill retired in 1925, but the situation did not greatly improve. Clemens Krauss, who in many difficult situations in the history of the Philharmonic took decisive action, seized the opportunity and in 1933, without an audition, offered the 19 year old Odnoposoff a position as concertmaster.

Ricardo Odnoposoff's first performance at the concertmaster's desk was in Verdi's Othello on December 25, 1933, and his first major Philharmonic test was a gala concert for Richard Strauss' 70th birthday on June 10, 1934. Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted Ein Heldenleben and insisted that Odnoposoff perform the violin solo. Until 1937, he appeared seven times as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic, among them two performances of Mozart's Violin Concerto in A major, KV 219. For the 100th birthday of Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), he made his debut in the subscription concert series with that composer's Violin Concerto in B minor, op. 61, on January 25 and 26, 1936, under Felix von Weingartner.

In Ricardo Odnoposoff's own words, it was necessary for a young Philharmonic concertmaster to present oneself even more prominently as a soloist, and he therefore performed a recital which included the violin concerti of Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvorák, as well as the Mozart Concerto in D major, KV 218, under the direction of Josef Krips and accompanied by the Philharmonic. In addition, he made numerous other solo appearances in Vienna and on tour, among these a sonata recital with Bruno Walter as pianist on December 2, 1935. This artistic collaboration extended to the Philharmonic concerts also, as Odnoposoff performed a major orchestral solo, the aria from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Il re pastore with Elisabeth Schumann during a Philharmonic tour to London under Walter's direction in June 1937. On this same tour, Odnoposoff represented the orchestra in a special way, performing violin compositions by Fritz Kreisler at a gala at the Austrian embassy.

Probably the most decisive event in Ricardo Odnoposoff's career occurred in 1937. The Ysaÿe Competition was characterized that year by the legendary artistic duel between Ricardo Odnoposoff, Second Prize, and David Oistrakh, First Prize. This sensational success drew considerable attention internationally, and led to a reordering of Odnoposoff's career. His numerous offers to perform as a soloist led him to relinquish his position as concertmaster and he left Austria in the autumn of 1938, with the political developments of the time also playing a role in this decision. Upon returning to Vienna from solo engagements in Italy, he was suddenly refused admission to the opera house. After Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany, Odnoposoff, who had taken on Austrian citizenship and became an enthusiastic Viennese, was, because of the Argentine citizenship which he still maintained, no longer welcome in his own land.

He travelled to Belgium, and subsequently returned to Argentina in 1940. In 1942 he debuted in New York, where he lived until 1956. In that year he returned to Vienna and became Professor at the Music Academy in 1957. He taught at that institution until 1973 and counted three future Vienna Philharmonic members, Paul Guggenberger (1941-2000), Ortwin Ottmaier and Edward Kudlak (retired September 2003), among his students. Odnoposoff's activities as a pedagogue were not limited to Vienna, as he taught in Stuttgart, and until 1994 in Zurich. Despite this extensive teaching work, the focal point of his career remained the concert stage, as thousands of public appearances and a notable number of recordings confirm. Many of those recordings have fortunately been re-released on CD.

After the Second World War, Ricardo Odnoposoff appeared six times with his former Viennese colleagues. On February 1 and 2, 1947 he performed the Brahms concerto with Josef Krips in the subscription concert series, and in 1961 played the Sinfonia concertante, KV 364, with principal violist Rudolf Streng, conducted by Carl Schuricht, for the Mozart gala concert in Innsbruck, as well as for two concerts during Salzburg's Mozart Week. The last appearance of Ricardo Odnoposoff with the Vienna Philharmonic was on June 13, 1965, in the main auditorium of the Konzerthaus, when he played the premiere of the Violin Concerto of Theodor Berger, with Eugene Ormandy conducting.

There was one last personal meeting at the Musikverein on February 25, 1994. Upon his 80th birthday, Ricardo Odnoposoff was awarded the honorary ring of the Vienna Philharmonic after a rehearsal on the podium of the Golden Hall. The ring, surely the orchestra's most personal decoration, was awarded in honor of an artist who, though only belonging to the Philharmonic for four years, remained his entire life a proponent of our orchestra. Until the end of his life he maintained close contact with the Vienna Philharmonic, not only through his former student Ortwin Ottmaier, but also by his personal interest and identification with the orchestra.
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David Oistrakh
Russian Federation, °1908 - 1974
David Oistrakh (1908-1974) is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartók. His violin studies began in 1913 with Pyotr Stolyarsky. Later he officially joined Stolyarsky's class at the Odessa Conservatory, graduating in 1926 by playing Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto. Performances of the Glazunov Concerto in Odessa and Kiev in 1927, and a 1928 debut in Leningrad (Tchaikovsky Concerto) gave him the confidence to move to Moscow. He made his premiere there in early 1929, but the event went largely unnoticed. In 1934, however, after several years of patiently refining his craft, he was invited to join the Moscow Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of full professor in 1939.

Meanwhile, David Oistrakh was gaining success on the competition circuit, winning the All-Ukrainian contest in 1930, and the All-Soviet competition three years later. In 1935 he took second prize at the Wieniawski competition. In 1937 the Soviet government sent the now veteran violinist to Brussels to compete in the International Ysaÿe Competition, where he took home first prize.

With his victory in Brussels, Soviet composers began to take notice of their young compatriot, enabling him to work closely with Miaskovsky and Khachaturian on their concertos in 1939 and 1940, respectively. In addition, his close friendship with Shostakovich led the composer to write two concertos for the instrument (the first of which Oistrakh played at his, and its, triumphant American premiere in 1955). During the 1940s David Oistrakh's active performing schedule took him across the Soviet Union but his international career had to wait until the 1950s, when the political climate had cooled enough for Soviet artists to be welcomed in the capitals of the West.

The remaining decades of his life were devoted to maintaining the highest possible standards of excellence throughout an exhausting touring schedule (he returned to the U.S. six times in the 1960s), and he began a small but successful sideline career as an orchestral conductor. His death came suddenly in Amsterdam in 1974, during a cycle of Brahms concerts in which he both played and conducted.

Throughout his career David Oistrakh was known for his honest, warm personality; he developed close friendships with many of the leading musicians of the day. His violin technique was virtually flawless, though he never allowed purely physical matters to dominate his musical performances. He always demanded of himself (and his students) that musical proficiency, intelligence, and emotion be in balance, regardless of the particular style. David Oistrakh felt that a violinist's essence was communicated through clever and subtle use of the bow, and not through overly expressive use of vibrato. To this end he developed a remarkably relaxed, flexible right arm technique, capable of producing the most delicate expressive nuances, but equally capable of generating great volume and projection.

As a teacher, David Oistrakh maintained that a teacher should do no more than necessary to help guide the student towards his or her own solutions to technical and interpretive difficulties. He rarely played during lessons, fearing that he might distract the student from developing a more individual approach, and even encouraged his students to challenge his interpretations. Perhaps the best evidence of the Oistrakh's gift for teaching is that he felt that he gained as much from the teaching experience as his students did.
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Alfred Pochon
Switzerland, °1878 - 1959
Alfred Pochon (1878-1959) débute l'apprentissage du violon à l'âge de sept ans dans sa ville natale Yverdon en Suisse avant de suivre les enseignements de Louis Rey à Genève. À quatorze ans il se décide définitivement pour une carrière musicale. Il part alors pour la Belgique en 1895 et s'inscrit au Conservatoire de Liège, c'est lCésar Thomson qui lui enseigne l'art du violon et surtout celui du quatuor à cordes. Alfred Pochon obtient son diplôme ainsi qu'un premier prix de violon en 1897.

Il donne un de ses premiers concerts en tant que soliste au Casino de Saint-Pierre à Genève en 1889; il y joue avec succès le Septième Concerto de Spohr. Alfred Pochon est déjà en 1890 dans les rangs des violons de l'orchestre des Concerts classiques de Genève, dirigé par Hugo de Senger. Il tient également le pupitre de premier violon dans l'orchestre Eugène Ysaÿe, fondé et dirigé par ce dernier à Bruxelles. En 1901, il quitte la Belgique pour Vienne avant de découvrir les Etats-Unis.

En 1903 le violoniste fonde, avec l'appui financier de son ami le banquier E.-J. de Coppet, le Quatuor du Flonzaley à New York, ce quatuor le fait voyager en Europe, en Amérique du Nord et à Cuba. En 1922, Alfred Pochon s'installe à Lutry. C'est ici que dorénavant se rencontrent les membres du Quatuor. En mai 1929, après la cessation de l'activité du Quatuor du Flonzaley, Alfred Pochon crée avec Nicolas Moldavan le Quatuor Stradivarius avec lequel il enchaîne les tournées durant neuf ans. En 1941, il devient directeur du Conservatoire de Musique de Lausanne jusqu'en 1957. En 1944, il crée la Gazette musicale du Conservatoire de Lausanne.
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Maurice Raskin
Belgium, °1906 - 1984
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