Violin Schools in the Digital Age: French? Russian? Have the lines disappeared?

February 22, 2013 at 06:30 PM · There is a lot of literature on the development of violin schools: 17th/18th/19th century Italian, French or German; 19th/20th century Russian or Franco-Belgian. But where are the lines drawn today? It seems to me that much has changed, the lines between schools are much more vague. The digital age gives us access to every viewpoint instantaneously and perspectives are getting mushed together. What do YOU think?

Ok, ok, the other reason I ask... preliminary exam question! HELP!

Replies (22)

February 23, 2013 at 06:39 PM · Thank you, John. Can you give me some examples of what you mean?

February 23, 2013 at 09:42 PM · I'd say that the most "sight-noticeable" thing between schools is it's bow hold. The most used today is franco-belgian (bow is held in the middle knucles), but there are at least two more ways to hold the bow: one is the russian style, in which the bow is held in the first knucles, or even below, and another one (german?) in which you hold the bow in the very tip of your fingers.

February 24, 2013 at 02:17 AM · I really cannot be much help, but I fine Bruno’s statement that the most visible “thing between schools is its bow hold” matches a great deal of what I have read.

Last year while at a presentation for parents of future parents of future students at our Middle School I asked the new Orchestra (strings) teacher what bow hold she teaches. I really should have pursued this further since I do not know what she meant. She said she used an “ergonomic bow hold” and she did not seem to be aware of the traditional schools I mentioned. But that may have just been my impression and not necessarily a reflection on her familiarity.

Any recently trained US pedagogues know what an ‘ergonomic bow hold’ refers too. This could point to a move away from the various schools or could just be renaming an existing school of bow holds.

HTH

Pat T.

February 24, 2013 at 06:55 AM · in 2013, I would safely say that if there are ANY more 'schools of playing' out there - they are in the sound, not in the looks (setup/bowhold etc)

These days there are very few players who display clear school influence in their setup, because many take lessons with dozens of famous teachers and end up choosing their own way. add in the shoulder rest and most of those schools are technically disqualified by looks. We have resources and mobility that previous generations didn't have, and I think this is the practical part of the explanation.

The other part of that is how history (art, music namely) moves in cycles. For example, if you look at the composing world, you find there are practically no more 'schools'. The 2nd Viennese school is over as a movement, and it's proponents are also nearing the end of their era. John Cage showed us the end. After that, the trend became (and now still is) for people to go their own way, because we largely all have unlimited resources and choices- we are only limited by our talent and work ethic. Or they go back to tonal and pre 20th century influences (john williams is an extreme example)

It reminds me of a similar phenomenon in Jazz, where after the 60's people practically went as far with avant-garde as they were going to go, and started to come back to more traditionally inspired jazz styles. Now people are either going their own way doing fusion and all kinds of weird things, or they are busting out jams in the spirit of classical bebop, new orleans style, chicago style, etc.

So, it's the cyclical nature of things. And the recording industry affects this greatly. Jazz developed fully, through all of it's eras in about 60-70 years (something that has taken classical music from over 500 years around medieval -> john cage). It is interesting to see where it will go... :)

So back to "sound" and not "setup"

Though judgements in one's sound can be very subjective, it seems instantly clear for me when someone "gets" the heifetz style, or kreisler style, or X violinist. Maybe it's because I developed an ear for those 2 violinists' sensitivities early on and strive for it in my own playing. In my opinion there are only a handful of people that "get" the style that those old giants created.

Therefore, I don't think one can say "russian school" in terms of sound. because heifetz elman and seidel all played quite different (and auer prides himself with that). one can say something about their bow hold and setup, but I find that much less interesting. The bow hold especially, I find has no real affect on your artistic merits or sound. Heifetz could do the same beautiful things with his thumb under the frog, i'm sure. The position of the violin itself if a bit more interesting, but still for me is a discussion for academics/historians, not musicians. So Auer students shared similar set up and bow hold, but the argument can be made that this was not their choice, it was simply circumstance. In their playing htey are different, but they definitely share a similar understanding of nuance and sensitivity -- enough that I could easily say "Ah - that's Auer-student style" And even further, I can then say "Ah - that's heifetz style".

Another school of SOUND i define was inspired by kreisler, and again some people are continuing in that school, but not because they were part of it. Ilya Kaler and Abram Shtern don't have any direct connection to Kreisler, though they are some of the only violinists I've heard that 'get' the kreisler school of sound and aesthetic. SImilarly with David Nadien, who had no real connection to heifetz (except admiration) stands, in my opinion, greatest exponent of that "school" or style (I would say capturing it even more so than heifetz' students!)

Therefore, I would like to hypothesize that soon enough after people realize no one will play cleaner and more boring than Hilary Hahn, that it is time to listen again to the precious recordings of the great artists of the early 20th century - and there will be a sort of renaissance. This happened several decades ago with baroque period playing. However I think that this movement has taken a very wrong turn somewhere and needs to be corrected to get back to the real spirit of baroque. The fear with these revival movements is in superficiality. I personally find 90% of the period style playing superficial - like fashion. There are some people though that convince me with their sound because they really live it. Gordan Nikolic's solo bach changed me very much, for example. I just put a lot of it on youtube actually. It's a crime that you can't get that CD everywhere. Anyways...

:)

this discussion can be much much longer (and more cohesive than my borderline rant :)

and can incorporate the influences of the paris conservatoire on all the schools you mentions, and then why not go back to spohr, leopold mozart --> cave men? And then back all the way back to bernstein.

daniel

February 24, 2013 at 09:18 AM · "Therefore, I would like to hypothesize that soon enough after people realize no one will play cleaner and more boring than Hilary Hahn, that it is time to listen again to the precious recordings of the great artists of the early 20th century - and there will be a sort of renaissance. This happened several decades ago with baroque period playing. However I think that this movement has taken a very wrong turn somewhere and needs to be corrected to get back to the real spirit of baroque. The fear with these revival movements is in superficiality. I personally find 90% of the period style playing superficial - like fashion. There are some people though that convince me with their sound because they really live it."

Interesting post Daniel - I have to agree.

February 24, 2013 at 09:44 AM · hi Daniel;

true, an interesting post. may i also add that 'schools'/movements have also dwindled within the other arts and its more about individual aritists. in architecture, similarly, there is no tendency to form aesthetic or ideological groups.

i wonder whether this is a reflection of the individualism inculcated by global capitalism - over and above cultural idiosyncrasies -and not only owing to global exposure per se.

on the other hand, doesn't the approach to the question differ when applied to the art of performance as opposed to the art of composition? in a way, performers would ideally care about attaining the best array of skills from all previous schools of music- quite an objective thing in principle. whereas, composition does not necessitate this 'darwinian' attitude, no?

February 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM · Thank you, Daniel, for this extraordinarily insightful and thought provoking contribution to a fine discussion topic.

I agree that in this global era, the national school of playing is largely a thing of the past. In any case, to the extent that it still has some validity, I feel that there can be a certain unity of approach in players from a certain time and place, expressing the totality of the musical culture of that moment, rather than the teaching of a certain professor. For example, there is still an inbred viennise style, not just among violinists but among viennise musicians in general, centering around the Vienna Philharmonic which manages to still keep things in the family, hiring mainly students of current members of the orchestra, who are identified and groomed for the position.

The Russian style, for many years, had to do only minimally with the bow hold, but much more with an approach to sound and style, and also with choice of repertoire, and choice of career path. I am remembering Oistrakh's recordings of Mozart Concertos and Sonatas, which were marvelously Russian in terms of slow tempos, big lush sound, choice of long on the string bowings, etc. etc.

Today's musicians are characterized by their broad, eclectic range of activities, such as Yo Yo Ma delving into jazz and HIP playing, Perlman playing Klezmer, Rachel Barton Pine playing with a rock group, Joshua Bell and Nadia Salerno Sonnenberg conducting from the concertmaster chair, Hilary Hahn interviewing other musicians on Youtube, Charles Yang doing multimedia, Mark O'Connor breaking down more barriers every year, etc, etc.

All in all, it's an exciting time to be a musician!

February 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM · How does the length of her garden figure in this conversation?

February 27, 2013 at 01:08 PM · "Switzerland next to Italy."

Depends where you are ...

I do think we have all lost it ...

February 27, 2013 at 01:59 PM · Woaw Daniel, just checked out the Gordan Nikolic Bach videos on YouTube. Such a purity, it is unimaginable. Thanks a lot.

February 27, 2013 at 02:20 PM · John, I do not know thw connection between Kreisler and Oistrakh except the big admiration they had for each other (from what I read).

However, I and I think historians agree too, find that if you listen to recordings of the young Oistrakh, he sounds very much like Kreisler's style. Very delicate, very serenade type of sound.

As Oistrakh got older, his playing became more "russian" and riskier if I can call it that way. Still a golden tone but with stonger and heavier attacks (a few more buzz sounds sometimes but overall more sound volume and large vibratos). It is also said that in these years, Oistrakh himself took some elements of the franco-belgian style in his playing (inspired from his friend Grumiaux I think...)

So, I'm sure he was not alone, many of the legends themselves changes for some aspects over the years and were a mix of various things found a bit everywhere.

No matter what schools player's like... the most important is to have something interesting to say in the sound and phrasing!

February 27, 2013 at 09:24 PM · Hi everyone. Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful insight on this topic, I have a lot of fuel for the fire in answering this question for my DMA preliminary exams next week. Also, I promise to post a summary of what I plan to write as soon as I have time.

Please consider commenting on my other post, regarding the top five composers/works to have advanced violin technique and notation into what it is today. It's under the repertoire category of discussion topics and titled: "Advancing Violin Technique/Notation into the 21st Century." Here's a link: http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=23932

Thanks, again!

Aaron

February 28, 2013 at 02:15 AM · Hi John... thanks for the link of Sandor Vegh. Wonderful sound and expression :)

February 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Indeed, some of the chords were slightly tinged ...

March 2, 2013 at 05:20 PM · John, maybe :) haven't think about that...

March 13, 2013 at 03:11 AM · Hi all,

As promised, I'm copying/pasting in what I wrote for my DMA preliminary exam. I had to answer two questions that apply to this discussion topic; one that required a discussion of the most influential violinists throughout history, and another that asked for a description of "violin schools of our time." I asked my professor to clarify what he meant by that and told him that I would have trouble categorizing violinists in the 21st century. So of course he says: "then write about why you feel that way." Uhg! :) Easy enough for him to say, but difficult for me to do.

Anyway, the only thing I've altered is to insert a few composer dates and fix some grammar and spellings. Other than that, what follows is exactly what I wrote. Please keep in mind that I am not a good writer (at all), I'm not an expert either, and I wrote this in less than a two hour period of time.

Posting this discussion really helped me a lot and I received some very helpful inspiration from a few commenters here. Daniel Kurganov, your insight was extremely interesting and I paraphrase a few things that you wrote. Roy Sonne, your post pointed me in a few good directions too that I write about in the last section... and my last sentence is a direct quote. John Cadd, thank you so much for leading me to Gwendolyn Masin's dissertation, which turned out to be soooooooo helpful in several ways. I paraphrase a lot of her ideas too.

Hope you like the essay!

Violinistically yours,

Aaron

March 13, 2013 at 03:13 AM · In the beginning, there was Italy

Italy was the birthplace of the European Renaissance. Starting from the late 15th century, it saw an explosion of art of all kinds. As the Renaissance grew and developed, it began to spread an artistic influence over all the other countries of Europe. During this time, the violin and the violin family saw a significant growth in popularity. Italian and Italian-trained musicians began to number a majority of European positions (the Italian-trained George Frideric Handel (1685-1789) and the Italian violinist and composer Francesco Geminiani (1687-1782) are two such examples). The influence of Italy also gradually brought about a decline in the distinctness of local traditions of playing and composition, so by the mid-18th century until the early 19th century, the Italian school had become dominant in most countries of Europe. Paganini was the pinnacle of this old Italian tradition. His virtuosity and output will always have a lasting impact on violin technique and methods of composition for the violin. However, Paganini didn’t have much effect on the “pedagogical” passing down of violin technique to future generations. Only two of the students he accepted enjoyed a lasting success, and neither one considered Paganini helpful or inspirational.

However, before Paganini, there were two main figures near the end of the 17th century who were to have a lasting impact on Italian violin playing: Arcangelo Correli (1653-1713) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). Through them, traditions were passed down and developed by great teachers like Somis and Pugnani, resulting with Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755-1824). Most scholars identify Viotti as the most influential figure to define and spread the techniques that were to lie at the heart of European schools of violin playing. Viotti even influenced Paganini through his student August Duranowski. In France, his influence on performance style was firmly established upon his French pupils Pierre Baillot (1771-1842), Rudolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831) and Pierre Rode 1774-1830). Each of them became professors at the Paris Conservatory. Their lasting impact on the identity of the French school of violin playing is what earned Viotti the often-coined title as the father of the French school.

Then there was France

Even though Germany demonstrated a marked level of individuality in violin playing (seen most notably through the treatises of Leopold Mozart and Louis Spohr) and particularly in composition, France was the one country where Italian tastes and playing methods were challenged by native scholars and performers. As far back as the Baroque, French practices were more distinct and followed different rules (much more specific rules, I might add). And in spite of the fact that Viotti – a highly influential artist and product of strong Italian tradition – made his mark there, the pupils he met had been raised in the French system. It’s not surprising then, that by the beginning of the 19th century, there was a shift. The French style of playing, now beefed up by the Italian tradition, earned an international reputation of violin playing that had previously been dominant in Italy.

The French assimilated and continued the traditions of the Italians. Baillot, for example, wrote his extensive treatise: The Art of the Violin. His work however, unlike Italian versions that had come before, focused not on the amateur violin pupil but instead focused on training the professional. Furthermore, it was French luthiers who established the practice of rebuilding old instruments to achieve better capabilities (resulting in the modern violin), and the French innovator, Francois Tourte, who developed the modern bow.

The French tradition can still be seen today… what serious violin student hasn’t studied the etudes of Kreutzer or Rode? Later figures were Charles Dancla (1817-1907) and Lambert Massart (1811-1892), who taught Fritz Kreisler and Martin Marsick. Marsick taught Carl Flesch and George Enesco. It is said that the techniques of the French School represented a violinistic technique that was driven by “good taste”, but that double-stops or harmonics were not often employed. Baillot also gives directions in his treatise for holding the bow, using a straight thumb and straight fingers. However, I imagine the best models for studying the playing style of the French School would be to study the works by Viotti, Baillot, Kreutzer and Rode. The four of them together composed more than 70 concerti (!) as well as countless other pieces.

Germany, Hungary and Belgium

The rise and influence of the French School is said to have a diminishing quality on the distinctiveness of other schools, similar to Italy’s affect a century earlier. One thing that might have contributed to this has to do with the construction of railways throughout Europe, which is a smaller-scale version of what has happened globally since World War II (I’ll write more about that below). An example of this diminishing quality is on Louis Spohr (1784-1859). Spohr had a very inventive and unique style that was very much affected by the German traditions that had been passed down by Johann Anton Stamitz. However, after hearing a concert by Rode, Spohr became entranced with the French style and sought to emulate Rode in his playing and even in composition. One of Spohr’s concertos was modeled after Rode and won Spohr great success. After that Spohr never quite fell back on his German heritage according to one writer (forget the name), who also points out the influence of Rode in Spohr’s treatise: Violinschule.

The main figure of the German school became Joseph Joachim (1831-1907). I read mention that a feature of this German school was a low right arm and emphasis on right wrist movement in playing. Joachim’s pedigree can be traced back to Viotti through Dont, Böhm, and Rode. Joachim and Dont in turn taught Leopold Auer, father of the so-called Russian School.

It is interesting to see how the students of Viotti branched out to form the different schools of playing that were so often referred to during the 20th century. The Hungarian violinist Joseph Böhm (1795-1876) is a particularly interesting figure, and though it is said that he taught Auer for a time (leading to the Russian school), he also taught many Hungarian students in Vienna, a few who became very influential in their homeland: i.e. Jeno Hubay and again, Joachim.

Joachim and Hubay formed a line of influence in Hungary, which has even reached down to two very modern proponents trained in Budapest: Kato Havas and Paul Rolland. It should be noted, however, the emergence of new philosophies in violin pedagogy that occurred around the beginning of the 20th century in Hungary. It seems to be provoked by a book by the author Friedrich Adolf Steinhausen titled: The Physiology of Bowing. What I’ve been able to find out is that Steinhausen’s brother was a student of Joachim, who encouraged Steinhausen to write the book. Steinhausen however was not a professional violinist, but a doctor! The books principals became deeply imbedded in the teaching of Imre Waldbauer, who taught both Havas and Rolland in Budapest. Rolland credits Waldbauer as the most significant influence to his playing and teaching, which in turn has influenced so many players of America today. Rolland even goes on to say that Waldbauer did him the favor of stripping away the old German-Hungarian tradition passed down by Hubay, which had negatively affected his playing previously.

But I digress… back to Viotti. Another of his students, Charles de Beriot, formed a line that leads down through Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski to Ysaÿe, forming what many know as the Belgian violin school. That same line continues then to Enescu, Thibaud and Gingold. The Belgian school was highly influenced by the French school but is still said to have formed its own identity, one that was increasingly more romantic in style. Players today often refer to the Franco-Belgian bow hold, wherein the fingers make contact to the bow closer to the first joint and much emphasis is placed on finger movement in bowing and collé.

Russia

The influence of Viotti and his students is something I find pretty miraculous. In fact, what I find is that the violinistic pedigree of virtually ALL modern classically trained violinists can be traced back to Viotti in some way, shape or form. Fascinating!

As I mentioned before, Leopold Auer (1845-1930) is often referred to as the father of the Russian School. His students include Heifetz, Elman, Zimbalist, Yampolsky, Graffman and many more. Auer’s school almost entirely transported to America as a result of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia. One of his pupils, Abraham Yampolsky, carried on his traditions in Russia, teaching Leonid Kogan who in turn taught Viktoria Mullova. Many players today refer to the Russian bow hold as an aspect of Auer’s Russian school. The characteristics of this bow hold feature the index finger making contact at the second joint, and the whole arm engaging in sweeping motions of the bow.

However, what is often not mentioned (at least in America) is that there were TWO very distinct Russian schools. Another of Viotti’s students, Friedrich Wilhelm Pixis, formed a line of students that leads all the way down to Sevcik and Stolyarski. Stolyarski is the father of the second Russian school. He had an eye for cultivating talent in young students and was the teacher of David Oistrakh, Igor Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein to name a few. David Oistrakh taught Gidon Kremer and many others, and Igor Oistrakh was one of Zakhar Bron’s principal teachers. Bron has become one of the most famous teachers in the world today (with students like Vengerov, Rapin, etc.).

If one were to compare the two Russian schools, I think of Auer’s heritage as being born out of French (via Dont), German (via Joachim) and (pre-Steinhausen) Hungarian influence. Stolyarski’s school on the other hand was more Belgian influenced through Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski and Ysaye who all spent considerable time in Russia.

American in the 20th Century

So, I’ve shown how from Viotti, several branches of violin pedagogy were established that branched and lead to somewhat distinct schools of violin playing. But branching out continues from all of those sources as well, branches overlap in several places and it all just gets increasingly more and more confusing. So, for the purposes of outlining violin playing (or “schools”) in the 20th and 21st centuries, I will focus (at least mostly) on America.

Probably the most influential teachers in America during the 20th century were Joseph Gingold and Ivan Galamian, followed closely by Dorothy DeLay. Gingold was born in Belarus and studied in New York with Graffman (a student of Auer). He then lived in Belgium for several years, studying with Eugene Ysaÿe. He spent several years as the concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra but is best known for the position he held as violin professor at Indiana University. Some of his best-known students are Joshua Bell, Jaime Laredo, Dylana Jensen, Joseph Silverstein and Miriam Fried. Galamian was born in Tabriz, Iran to Armenian parents ad his initial studies were in Moscow with Konstantin Mostras, who was a student of Auer. After that he studied in Paris with Lucien Capet, a desendent of Baillot’s teaching and the French School (incidentally, Capet wrote a very enlightening treatise on bow use called: Superior Bow Technique). Galamian taught for several years in Paris but his eventual and primary position was in New York at Juilliard. He has taught countless influential violinists of today such as Perlman, Zukerman, Laredo, and Dicterow. Perhaps part of the genius of Gingold and Galamian is that they each represented their own “hybrid school” that used the best from their varied backgrounds.

When Galamian died, his assistant, Dorothy DeLay, took over his studio at Juilliard. DeLay students abound the concert halls of America today. Highlights of a few of her students are Midori, Perlman, Zukerman, Nigel Kennedy, Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (that’s only a small handful).

Now, if we look at teachers in America today, things get much more confusing. There are hundreds of hybrid schools. Several teachers stick out as being more influential than others, but violin virtuosos are popping up from all over the place, from hundreds of different teachers. The lines are all crisscrossed.

America in the 21st Century: The Digital Age

Earlier, I mentioned the building of railroads in Europe and how that assisted the rise and influence of the French School at the beginning of the 19th century. The French School had such an impact in fact; that national styles of playing which had been distinct from the French (or earlier Italian) School began to die out (most notably some German traditions). This is a small-scale version of what has happened today since World War II. With the creation of jet planes and the Internet, the world is so much smaller (figuratively speaking). Gobs of information can be found right at our fingertips. Areas that had been more isolated are suddenly international hubs. Russian is a great example, now that the iron curtain is (more or less) gone.

In my experience, it seems like several minds are still stuck in the mid-20th century where talk of specific schools like Russian and Franco-Belgian was still applicable to the playing characteristics of the day. But I cannot honestly agree that these schools exist anymore! Nobody has sufficiently documented what has happened in the violin world over the past 30 years. All violinists have become products of hybrid schools whose definitions are even more varied than Galamian or Gingold. Very few players show distinct school styles in their playing because we all study and are influenced by a handful of teachers from varied backgrounds, absorb the best of each and assimilate them in personal ways.

An unfortunate result of this, however, is that few modern violinists – especially those now studying in Colleges or Universities (I was one of them) – have a reasonable understanding of the history of the techniques or artistic heritage that is being passed down to them, and the wealth of experience developed in different geographical areas is diluted. But I think it is important to preserve the past, to understand it and learn from it. It would be great if there was some kind of violinist database, where one can go online and trace their own personal violinistic pedigree.

One must raise the question, however; what are the advantages here? For example, just because it is more difficult to define geographically distinct heritages of performance does not mean there is any shortage of different opinions or viewpoints. Violinists of today have more freedom to seek out their own unique pathways and study with those teachers they identify with the most. So then perhaps it can be said that today, the main distinguishing feature of players is the approach to sound, not setup. Judgements of sound can be subjective, nonetheless, I can instantly tell differences in an approach to sound or phrasing from one player to the next.

There are so many specializations nowadays as well: one person may focus on and make a career playing contemporary music from todays composers; another may focus on symphonic repertoire, take auditions and maintain a career in a major orchestra; still another might make a living playing chamber music; while another devotes their life to training future violinists, thereby passing on their own vision (or school) of sound that becomes part of the individuality of future generations who absorb that vision in unique ways. Choice of pedagogical repertoire can also be a major factor in developing specific concepts of sound, or more engagement in alternative styles.

There are also pedagogical trends that didn’t exist before. The Suzuki philosophy (which is not a “method” by the way) has totally changed violin pedagogy in America and throughout the world. But it’s also a great example of a new phenomenon… there are several new approaches developing due to extreme cultural and lingual differences. The Suzuki philosophy, for example, is the result of western traditions remolded through the filter of Japanese early childhood instruction. Is this a sign of something new happening?

To answer that let me start from the beginning. First there was Italy who developed and spread technique resulting in specific national styles; the French School absorbed all the best features of those styles and then branched out again; the same thing is happening today, in which players are absorbing the best from all schools. So what is for the future… global styles? Do we already have them? – I think so. Where do popular and ethnic styles fit in (look at the Indian approach for example – completely different)? Give it some time and there may be a South American style, an Asian style, an African style, or a middle-eastern style. Then if we follow the same circular pattern, what will result? It’s fun to think about, but who knows what will happen. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be a musician!

March 13, 2013 at 08:07 AM · A very interesting and informative essay.

I always thought though that Milstein was a product of Auer and the Russian School (so called, I agree). (Unless I have possibly mis-understood!)

March 13, 2013 at 03:15 PM · I think Milstein DID have some lessons with Auer, but not in the same way that Heifetz did. Auer was very influential and made it a point to invite any talented child to come for lessons (which were more like masterclasses with several people watching). But it was really Stolyarski who had the most profound effect on Milstein (according to the sources I've read).

A lot of people say that Milstein studied with Ysaye as well, but Ysaye told him there was nothing he could do to help him (I'm not sure he liked Milstein very much).

March 13, 2013 at 05:58 PM · "I think Milstein DID have some lessons with Auer, but not in the same way that Heifetz did. Auer was very influential and made it a point to invite any talented child to come for lessons (which were more like masterclasses with several people watching). But it was really Stolyarski who had the most profound effect on Milstein (according to the sources I've read).

A lot of people say that Milstein studied with Ysaye as well, but Ysaye told him there was nothing he could do to help him (I'm not sure he liked Milstein very much).

Aaron

Yes, Milstein actually said that he never really had lessons or learnt anything from Ysaye, and playing chamber music was a disaster as Y was drunk most of the time, and the other players pretty poor. I think the dislike may have been mutual!

Milstein also said that Auer never really taught him, but being in the class meant that he learnt a lot from others who were mainly a bit older. He said Auer only intervened if the pupil was confused.

March 13, 2013 at 06:15 PM · "Milstein actually said that he never really had lessons or learnt anything from Ysaye"

He also said the same thing about Stoliarsky... I heard it many times in documentaries.

Stoliarsky couldn't be that bad... he taught Oistrakh and Kogan and was the only teacher of at least Oistrakh. Even if they were his talented pupils, they didn't learn all this by themselves it's impossible!

March 13, 2013 at 08:50 PM · You get a more refined sense of rhythm in a jazz club. At least that's what Milstein said. I think Auer siad something similar too. Anyway, the beer's usually good.

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