I never had any conflicts with my teacher for the first 1.5 years I studied under him. I did nothing but scales, études and technical pieces (such as Paganini's Moto Perpetuo) during that time. It was very frustrating, but ultimately worth the effort. I feel my technique is quite secure nowadays: I can play a piece such as Bazzini's Round of the Goblins without much difficulty, and major concerti no longer seem technically daunting.
With most technical aspects resolved, he turned to sonatas and concerti, and their musical approach. This is where the conflicts started: my teacher hates any violin music recorded before the 1950s, and even then, modern violinists are sacrosanct to him. He has refered to Heifetz (my personal idol, for musical reasons) as a purely technical show-off with no thought for the musicality he admires in modern performance. My jaw was close to dropping when he trashed Milstein's recording of the Stravinsky concerto, and proceeded to praise Vengerov's, out of all people.
I find myself in the opposite sphere. Heifetz is my absolute idol for his intensity and sensuality, but I find Oistrakh to be a master of poetic nuance, and the rubati and glissandi of Kreisler or Elman are extremely musical to my ears, while my teacher finds them cheesy and unmusical (this seems to be the general opinion of 2009's violin world). I will often have musical ideas which my teacher angrily rejects: the whole 'modern' aesthetic suffocates me. I'm aware of the fact he won't have control of me forever, but even when I stand on my own as a musician, how would competition jury members and critics react to someone like me? Am I an unmusical retrograde, or is there a point to my way of thinking?
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