Violinist David Nadien

April 15, 2004 at 03:40 PM · Got am Cembal d'Amour CD with 18 romantic pieces by Nadien with Boris Barer (son of Simon). ┬┐Why is he almost unknown?. Its a pity, because he is (or was) an exceptional violinist; perfect intonation, a silk bow, beautiful sound and a personal "old school" style (not a mechanic computer like so many now). Try this CD, its simply great!

Replies (21)

April 15, 2004 at 05:17 PM · I know him from the Suzuki CD's but I never thought much of them...

April 15, 2004 at 11:50 PM · Greetings,

I think he was concertmaster of the New York Phil at one time. You have to be a mean fiddle player to do that job.

I also have a funny feeling he is working in Japan now...anybody know better?



April 16, 2004 at 02:42 AM · Yes I have that CD Carlos by Nadien he is a great Violinist. I like Norman Carol better though, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I bought an lp of Carol from the 60's, he was great!!. Retired now.

April 16, 2004 at 02:42 AM · Yes I have that CD Carlos by Nadien he is a great Violinist. I like Norman Carol better though, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I bought an lp of Carol from the 60's, he was great!!. Retired now.

April 16, 2004 at 06:41 PM · I am not sure what he is doing now, but he made a career as a commercial violinist.

April 20, 2004 at 02:46 PM · I have his recording of Suzuki Book 2. . . admired him when I was 9. . . haven't heard him since, except old NY Phil recordings, of course, which are great.

April 20, 2004 at 05:42 PM · Nadien is not recognized alot because his name in Spanish means "nobody".

...ok, maybe that's not the reason, but its an interesting coincidence ^_^

April 20, 2004 at 09:19 PM · Hi there,i have a collegue in the Swedish National symphony orchestra,Leonard Haight, who studied with Nadien among others at the Juliard(sorry for awfull spelling?) and he often recalls chambermusic sessions(and parties) with Zukerman,Perlman,Kavafian-sisters,Kyung-Wha-Chung that were his classmates there at this time and he has only VERY nice things to say about Nadien.One of the most saught-after studio fiddlers i believe.Carlos,as usual,i must admire your taste!!

best wishes for everyone,,, jorgen

April 24, 2004 at 05:36 AM · Nadien was born in New York in 1928. He studied with Galamian and made his solo debut with the New York Phil at 14. He was concertmaster there from 1966 - 1970. He has a recording of encore pieces out on CD, and had LP's of the Franck and Debussy sonatas, the Four Seasons, and more as soloist in symphonic works of R. Strauss and Tchaikovsky. He has a big, fast vibrato.

April 25, 2004 at 05:06 PM · Nadien played the Tchaikovsky with my youth symphony in like 1982 (oh boy am I OLD). Amazing chops - just ripped right through the piece as if there was nothing difficult in it. The big fast intense vibrato (which never ever changed) and LOTS of cheesy slides just drove me up the wall, though. Reminded me of Francescatti, not in a good way. I had not really heard of him before, and very little since.

We were told that he quit as concertmaster of NY Phil. because he could make more money as a studio player.

April 27, 2004 at 11:48 PM · My former teacher (a cellist, incidentally) spoke of him quite often. He knew him while he was concertmaster of NY Phil and he always said great things about him.

My teacher used to say that if he was turned around and he just heard Nadien tune up, he would know it was him. His sound was that unique.

September 2, 2009 at 12:47 AM ·

 I studied with David Nadien for several years. He is in his mid eighties now but still teaches. He was concertmaster under Bernstein. He was losing money every minute he sat in the concertmaster's chair because he was the top commercial violinist and contractor in the city. I don't think he found it musically rewarding enough ("We didn't play a single Brahm's symphony while I was there.") to stay. His playing is instantly identifiable, and you can hear him as soloist in countless popular recordings of the fifties, sixties, and seventies. During that time, it was universally acknowledged in the city that there was Nadien, and then there was everybody else. If you don't believe he was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived, listen to his recording of Zigeunerweisen and compare it to a Heifetz recording. Can you name a better performance of the Tzigane than his with the NYP? I can personally testify the he could play anything in the literature and sound like Heifetz. He was, like several other fine players (Primrose, Charlie Libove, Broadhus Earle) a Dounis product. As a teacher, he was an astounding analyst, his fingerings were a revelation, his account of the bow arm made made it easy, etc. Why then aren't there Nadien students among the stellar players of today?  Suffice it to say, he was quite unpleasant. All in all though, it is a profound tragedy that fate has left him and his playing virtually unknown.  Charles Johnston

September 2, 2009 at 04:58 AM ·


for what it@s worth h is held in abolsute awe in Japan after a brief stint with one of the Tokyo orchetsras in recnet years.

Cheers,  The soloist Rieko Suzuki told me she had -never- heard a sound as fantastic as Nadien live.


September 3, 2009 at 12:52 PM ·

I know of him only through his recordings, which to me are precious treasures. He is indeed in the "Heifetz" category. And it is a shame that for whatever reasons his career never blossomed internationally the way it deserved to.

September 3, 2009 at 06:00 PM ·




September 3, 2009 at 07:10 PM ·

you know...some say that he is Oistrakh's son.  Looks like him, studied with him through his whole youth...hmmmm

September 5, 2009 at 12:32 PM ·

Funny! But just to clarify for those who may not know, Nadien neither looks like nor studied with Oistrakh. His main teachers were Adolfo Betti, Galamian, and Dounis.

In the DVD interview, Nadien did proudly recall an incident when he was Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic one time when Oistrakh was a guest soloist, and Ozawa a guest conductor. At a rehearsal of a Mozart concerto, Oistrakh couldn't decide how he wanted to do a certain ornament. A few people in the orchestra made suggestions which were not accepted. Finally Nadien made a suggestion which Ozawa immediately rejected. "No", said Oistrakh, overriding Ozawa, "That's it!" "That was a nice moment for me", recalled Nadien.

April 28, 2016 at 03:15 AM · I think here is the concert Nadien mentioned in the interview:

And here is all the Oistrakh's concert with New York Phil:

I didn't find one with Ozawa from 1966 to 1970. I think maybe Nadien recalled wrongly in the interview. The concert was conducted under Abbado on March 3rd in 1970, and the concerto was Mozart's No.4.

April 28, 2016 at 02:16 PM · I think it should be mentioned that David Nadien passed away in 2014.

April 28, 2016 at 02:16 PM ·

April 28, 2016 at 03:56 PM · Pardon me for changing this discussion from David Nadien, but this inquiry may be the closest I might get to answering another closely related subject:

For the longest time, I have been trying to find or get access to the: original 12 inch reels as donated and called: "Jascha Heifetz Library of Congress Original Masterclass Tapes"

These are not the 2 or 3 easily obtained commercial tapes but are the original sixteen 12 inch recording tapes held in storage by the Library of Congress. Does anyone know if or why these sixteen original tapes are being unaccesable. Could there be a legal stipulation as to why we are prevented from having access to this great collection ??

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