Influential Violinists

May 1, 2006 at 04:11 PM · what violinists influenced you the most. Not only through their playing but also their lifes


Replies (92)

May 1, 2006 at 06:18 PM · it was jerry goodman thet made me get a violin, I started to say "I bet I can do that", for classical it would have to be michael rabin, I know ill never be as good as rabin though

May 1, 2006 at 06:38 PM · 2 ways to answer this - 1) personally, and 2) who influenced the whole field of violin playing.

Personally, I'd have to say that the greatest influence on my wanting to learn the violin was a recording (the Beethoven Concerto, Francescatti, Ormandy and the Philadelphia).

Greatest influence on the art of playing the violin? Two above all - Paganini and Heifetz.

I rest my case. I also rest my violin case.

Cordially, Sandy

May 1, 2006 at 06:45 PM · Maxim Vengerov for me. I was about eleven or twelve when I first heard one of his recordings and basically, his playing inspired me to a whole new level of seriousness and love of the violin. He convinced me to really be a violinist! :) Thanks Max!!!

I also hugely admire him for all that work he does for UNICEF, playing concerts for those poor little kids in Africa and donating money from his concerts to aid organizations and stuff like that. He has such a big heart and he is such a "citizen of the world" and a real musician for the 21st century, you might say. :)


May 1, 2006 at 06:48 PM · I would have to say Rene Benedetti, with whom I studied for one year when I was 15. Even though I was an amateur nobody (and I have no idea how my parents were able to get him to take me on), he treated me as though I was as important as his greatest, most promising pupils (e.g., Ferras and Kantorow). He was a class act.

May 1, 2006 at 07:05 PM · that's really old teacher was a student of Benedetti in Paris Conservatoire in the 50's I think. were you in Paris too? also, have you heard his recordings (i only have two cd's), they are pretty amazing


May 1, 2006 at 07:42 PM · I was in Paris in 1965-66. I have heard him in concert but never in recording. In fact, at the concert, we were sitting towards the front and he smiled and nodded to me from the stage. That was the kind of person he was. What are the CDs and where did you get them?

May 1, 2006 at 07:48 PM · Joshua Bell. No doubt about it. It's not the reasons that one may think either. I heard his Sibelius-Golmark CD in the car and thought who IS that?! How can they play that?! It's so cool! Hearing that made me love classical music. It probably would've taken so long for me to appriciate classical music if it hadn't been for that.

May 1, 2006 at 07:53 PM · You and JB are old pals by now, aren't you? :)

May 1, 2006 at 08:14 PM · There are so many wonderful violinists who have influenced me over the years. My teachers are probably the best examples of people who have inspired me (just read my blogs about my lessons in Vancouver!!) because not only are they good musicians they are instilling the passion and intensity they feel towards music into me and giving me the tools I need to express that passion and emotion. Over the past few years these are some of the players and teachers who have had a lasting impact on me (not all are violinists). All of them have given me something concrete to expand upon and have opened up doors and ideas that I never previously thought were possible or in existance.

Simon Fryer

Anne Shih

Jasper Wood

Elizabeth Lupton

Andrew Dawes

Philippe Djokic

Regis Pasquier

May 1, 2006 at 08:45 PM · Sidney,

You like JB?????


May 1, 2006 at 08:45 PM · Kelsey,

Your list is pretty Canadian. We're pretty blessed to have so many great artists here.

May 1, 2006 at 08:59 PM · I agree. All Canadians are pretty.

May 1, 2006 at 09:08 PM · Pieter, yes we are very blessed to have so many wonderful artists and mentors here. The one thing I love about being a musician here, even though I'm still a student is how everyone seems to know and get along with everyone and it's just a really nice, warm family feeling.

And yes, Preston....all Canadians are pretty in their own special way. ;)

May 1, 2006 at 09:17 PM · No Preston, no.

I've heard that Mr. Kang got the job.

May 1, 2006 at 10:40 PM · I agree with Sander on this:

Paganini & Heifetz and must add Ysaye & Kreisler.

They all shaped the violin playing of so many generations.

Sorry to get off the subject of this thread but......

And Sander,

I did not catch the end of the other thread:

"What do you think of Mozart?"

You stated:

"First of all, no scientific theory is ever "proven." What scientists accept as "the truth" or "reality" or "proven" is merely the best explanation at that time for the existing data. Science advances by finding better and better explanations that explain more of the data. The classic scientific experiment does not "prove" an hypothesis. What the experiment does is to disprove the other competing explanations as explaining the phenomena of the experiment. That leaves the "proven" hypothesis as the best remaining explanation."

I agree with you to a point.

With all due respect, it has been more than a 100 years since the birth of Existenialism. Since then, scientific knowledge (despite its ever changing nature) should be acknowledged in a whole new light with the advent of everything since early 20th century: Theory of Relativity, Atomic Age, Nuclear Age, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory which paved the way to Nanotechnology.

All of this progress is due in part to proven theories which are applicable in their use, and are & or have been marketed to the world.

I urge many who are Romantics at heart to dig further into the latest scientific discoveries of the last 20 years.

check out "Elegant Universe" by Brian Green.

If you truly are interested to know why Existentialism is or is not, you should read the latest scientific data available to us from the best minds of our time.

Todays science shows that there is harmony in the universe as it shows when the begining of time was and how it began. The only thing remains allusive, is why it began.

And in case you are wondering how we got on the subject in a thread about Mozart, it was something someone said:

" It's an existential universe in which one creates his own more comfortable universe."

To which I replied:

""Play It Again, Sam", Paramount Pictures, 1972

Mma Ramotswe had listened to a [BBC] World Service broadcast on her radio one day which had simply taken her breath away. It was about philosophers who called themselves existentialists and who, as far as Mma Ramotswe could ascertain, lived in France. These French people said that you should live in a way which made you feel real, and that the real thing to do was the right thing too. Mma Ramotswe had listened in astonishment. You did not have to go to France to meet existentialists, she reflected; there were many existentialists right here in Botswana. Note Mokoti, for example. She had been married to an existentialist herself, without even knowing it. Note, that selfish man who never once put himself out for another -- not even for his wife -- would have approved of existentialists, and they of him. It was very existentialist, perhaps, to go out to bars every night while your pregnant wife stayed at home, and even more existentialist to go off with girls -- young existentialist girls -- you met in bars. It was a good life being an existentialist, although not too good for all the other, nonexistentialist people around one."

Now back to the topic of the original post:)

May 1, 2006 at 10:40 PM · Hi to the Canadian folks,

Is it Anne Shih or Patricia Shih? I remember seeing Patricia Shih playing Paganini VC 1 - stunning playing and looks! What happened to Patricia?

Cheers - Lee

May 1, 2006 at 10:45 PM · Lee,

Patricia is Anne's sister. The whole Shih family is very musical and there's another sister, Connie who plays piano.

May 1, 2006 at 10:53 PM · The recordings of benedetti:

- there is a collection produced by strad magazine (i think) that was put together by Tully Potter (from Strad Magazine. I don't remember what it's called but all of the old great masters are there (sarasate, Maud Powell, Benedetti, Kreisler etc...)

- an a cd with Benedetti (playing Souvenirs de Moscou, Carmen Fantaisie and other pieces) as well an old british violinist (I might be mistaken)

May 1, 2006 at 10:55 PM · Gennady: I agree completely with your additions of Ysaye and Kreisler.

As to the extentialism and science ideas, what I was trying to say that science progresses not by settling on "truth" and defining "reality," but by considering scientific truths as hypotheses to continuously be subject to testing, experimentation, observation, and competition from other theories. That is, I think, how science progresses. And, indeed, today we have better theories to explain the universe than we did fifty years ago, in part because we are capable of much, much better observations.

What I said in the previous Mozart thread was:

"It seems to me that the existentialists have spawned two camps: the "gloomy" existentialists and the "optimistic" existentialists. The gloomy ones say that nothing means anything, that therefore anything goes, and that the fundamental question in life is whether or not to continue it.

The optimistic ones seem to say that, yes, life has no inherent meaning, but that there is a depth and spirituality to existence and meaning is what we choose to make it, thereby giving human life infinite possibilities for creative meaning. This is what (I think) Nietzsche meant when he said (in his own cryptic style) that "the value of life cannot be estimated."

What all this has to do with Mozart, I don't know. Except that maybe Mozart (like Beethoven and Bach and Brahms and Bartok and other great composers whose names don't begin with a "B") were able to create out of the bland physics of musical sound a unique experience of the infinitely rich possibilities of meaning."

Always a pleasure. Sandy

May 1, 2006 at 11:49 PM · Sandy,

It is the reason why some were arguing was Mozart a Genius or ..............

So when someone (Brian) stated:

"there is no such thing as genius, only appealing to preference"

I in turn had to say:

"I would strongly disagree with that statement,

especially if you really dwell on it.

If you are to profess the meaning of success, you have to take into account the talent you possess.

Furthermore, your statement homogenizes the difference between an Einstein and a Ted Bundy.

There is a huge difference between genius and mere mortals. The IQ level alone distinguishes one from the other let alone everything else."

This is what led to the discussion on Existentialism.

Now back to the subject at hand................

May 1, 2006 at 11:47 PM · Nicely put, Sandy. I'd just add that it's important to distinguish between science and engineering. As for influential violinists, probably say Susanne Lautenbacher and a zillion Vox boxes.

May 2, 2006 at 02:42 AM · come to think of it, the other violinists other than Heifetz, Kreisler and Milstein, that influenced me most are: David Oistrakh, Gidon Kremer, Leonid Kogan, Michael Rabin, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and young Isaac Stern.

May 2, 2006 at 03:15 AM · I think you just named like every famous violinist of the last 100 years.

May 2, 2006 at 04:00 AM · Greetings,

>honestly, if you look at it there is no point to our lives as musicians-we are entertainers, we are making no great steaps to better society-only to make people happy.

But look at the contradiction you just wrote. Any society where the people are happy is a better society.

I just began working with a virtual paraplegic who can grip with the finger s of her right hand and raise her left hand a little. We play duets as she strums the insturment rathe r like a Japanese koto. Is she happy. Yep. Is that helping to heal her in some senses. You bet. There is a whole field of music therapy out there just for starters.

In a more nebuluous sense music is not always about entertainment, as least as `entertainment` seems to be defined today. Tha way I see it people can make choices to do things of quality or they can train themselves to be morons by a steady diet of fast food, junk muzak and drugs. A society where people can still make choices, preserve their abilty to think and explore which includes art is better able to make decisions, create things, be less destructive and warlike, more democratic. People who have longer attention spans can remeber the lies and manipulations of the politicians better and can make more choices about how they choose to shape the world.



May 2, 2006 at 05:23 AM · Brian,

Your education has two gaping holes in it: philosophy and art. Philosophy itself helped to shape policy, prevailing thought, and even science itself. You are saying that scientists are merely the holder of test tubes.

May 2, 2006 at 06:45 AM · Brian Wall - What do you mean by Rabin's Paganini 4th? Is that the Caprice or VC 4 please? Regards - Lee.

May 2, 2006 at 06:46 AM · Kelsey Z - What happened to Patricia? Did she have an accident that was soloist-threatening? Regards - Lee

May 2, 2006 at 08:08 AM · Nathan Milstein! pssst...quantum mechanics

May 2, 2006 at 11:17 AM · Perlman for me. I saved for 2 months when I was a kid to buy his boxed set up the romantic violin concertos and then played them until they were worn. Not only a great player, but a great spokesman for the instrument. His personality and wit have exposed many people to the violin who otherwise may have never taken a second glance. Also b/c of his influence as a conductor and teacher. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Perlman just this weekend and he was as warm and genuine as he appears in interviews.

May 2, 2006 at 12:39 PM · I still think Tchaikovsky said it best: "Music is not illusion, but rather revelation. It's triumphant power is that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else. And the apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement of life."

Cordially, Sandy

May 2, 2006 at 12:39 PM · I still think Tchaikovsky said it best: "Music is not illusion, but rather revelation. It's triumphant power is that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else. And the apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement of life."

Cordially, Sandy

May 2, 2006 at 02:33 PM · Hi Lee,

I actually saw Patricia just recently, she is perfectly fine. She's been touring quite a bit and teaching quite a bit with her string quartet, the Borealis String Quartet. Google the quartet and you should find their website! She's most definetly still alive and playing! :D


May 3, 2006 at 02:27 AM · It's not a violinst but a movie - Star Wars (the original) that inspired me. When I first started playing, the record (you know, the vinyl type) just came out for the sound tract. I picked out the melody from the theme song not by note for hours. I was hooked! It was also my first ever ear training experience. :) From that point on, I have been greatly influenced by the teachers I've had over the years. Barabara (can't remember her last name) was the most influential. I started taking lessons from her when I was about 10 or so when she was teaching at the local university. She got me performing in public by getting me into the university orchestra, trying out for scholarships, and performing pieces composed by the seniors for their course requirements. If it wasn't for her (and my parents of course), I don't think I would be playing today 30 years later.

May 3, 2006 at 02:45 AM · Eddie South - If it wasn't for a racist America in the 30's who knows what might have been.

May 3, 2006 at 06:09 AM · I appreciate your honest posts, Brian. Just some questions to consider if you have time...

Is murder right because someone has a preference for murder? What about rape?

If scientists make great strides to better people's lives, aren't they hurting other people's lives who derive pleasure from the pain of others? Which should they do?

Does saying that all truth is relative and each person's individual truth is equal make it morally wrong to believe that there is truth and purpose which exists independent and irregardless of what people believe? Is this first statement of relativism, then, a moral statement of absolute truth in and of itself?

Does our perception of things change their true nature? Is a 6 year old child playing Twinkle a better violinist than Hiefetz because I perceive him to be?

Is it possible that the statement that there is no truth is true?

May 3, 2006 at 07:26 AM · There are concepts that are part of our social structure. Sometimes they can be manipulated into paradoxes. THey don't necessarily describe physical reality.

May 3, 2006 at 07:34 AM · Yes! I like Joshua Bell! Don't get all childish with the "like" stuff either. You know what the meaning is.

And I thought no one would figure that out! I'm brushing my teeth now...seriously ;-)

May 3, 2006 at 09:59 AM · Hi,

>Is murder right because someone has a preference for murder?

Curiously, anyone Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is about just that...

Why I am saying this, I don't know.


May 3, 2006 at 03:25 PM · Jim,

You didn't answer my questions...=) But here's another one -

The concept that all those things are "concepts of our social nature" and nothing more - is that in and of itself a concept of our social nature and therefore equally invalid? Or is it part of a deeper truth about our social nature?

Christian -

Yeah, Dostoyevsky asks and answers the question way better than I ever could hope to. Unfortunately, he does it in about a thousand pages. I always get depressed when reading him...but that's because he describes human character as it really is. It's a great work, IMHO.

Violinists who influenced me - Jascha Heifetz: I remember listening to my "Best of Heifetz" CD from RCA Gold Label (I think?) when I was very young. His third movement of Tchaikovsky always got my heart racing. Gil Shaham is an incredible talent and an incredible person (from what I've seen of him, anyway) - I've always looked up to his playing and humble character.

May 3, 2006 at 04:02 PM · Brian,

Philosophy is useful just as science and music are. Saying that things are a matter of preference, is IMO false.

Hitler wanted to extinguish all Jews of Europe not because of preference. Reality is that he murdered 6 million, is a fact. My uncle's whole family died in Auschwitz. He was the sole survivor with a number on his arm.

Ted Bundy chose to kill not because of prefernece.

These were their precalculated choices in life and in their conviction. Perhaps however deranged they were, they were still their convictions.

People dying now in Darfur, not because of preference.

Einstein for example chose his direction also not because of preference but his conviction.

There is a difference, and it is based on moral and ethical issues.

Yes it is true, that for artists, most of whom would rather romanticize rather than search for scientific truths, because much of what we do comes from metaphysical inspiration, joy, pain, suffering etc. Perhaps it is why many artists associate or dabble with Existentialism.

It is not relative as to distinguish between acts of kindness and acts of violence.Those are very clear boundaries that are very real (not relative at all). Just as there is a plus and a minus that repell each other in magnetic terms, there is GOOD and BAD.

We make choices in life. Like in architecture, if you are off by an inch, the structure could be compromised. Those are real terms.

In music too, composers make choices: follow traditional devices of structure, form, harmony or not. Follow your heart or not etc. But there are traditional devices and the langauge which they use to write down things that can be played by us the musicians and listened to by the audience.

As musicians we re-create the composers intentions and try to get to the truism of the given script. That is why it is important for us to study Music History, Theory, etc. to understand the time composers lived in, their specific style of writing utilizing the expressive means of the time etc.

It is why some have become so interested in performing with authentic instruments when it comes to Baroque.

All of these things are choices we make in our lives.

Prefernce can be left for what brand of coffee or cereal you like.

Or if you prefer Blonde or other :)

May 3, 2006 at 04:18 PM · Gennady, you are so right. Philosophy (especially existential) is not simply a "preference." Or, rather, life's meaning being simply a matter of "preference" IS a philosophy of life - it's call nihilism (not existentialism).

May 3, 2006 at 04:23 PM · Gennady,

oh my God, I'm so sorry about your family. I went to a bunch of Yom Hashoah stuff last week and ended up pretty much a basket case, and I don't even have any relatives who died in the Holocaust. That must be really awful for you! :(

May 3, 2006 at 04:25 PM · Oh, and Sydney--don't worry, no one's trying to make fun of you, it's just a little affectionate razzing. :) I'm the same way about Maxim Vengerov as you are about JB, so....feel free to razz. ;)


P.S. someone want to start a separate philosophy thread??

May 3, 2006 at 05:48 PM · No, I know Maura :-) I just think it's funny that if you admire someone of the opposite sex, people assume that you like them (in the lovey way) or something.

PS - Ilya, you're spelling my name wrong! S-i-d-n-e-y is the boy way to spell it!

May 3, 2006 at 07:14 PM · Nicholas, hi. As a scientist you know we describe reality with mathematics. There are paradoxes in mathematics, but many seem to be due to non-mathematical reasoning steps. It's the language you have to use at any rate.

May 3, 2006 at 07:03 PM · Sydney, I have a female violin student and her name is spelt "Sidney."

May 3, 2006 at 07:58 PM · Maura,

Thanks for your heartfelt sympathy.

But that was only one half of the story.

My mom's father was killed by the Nazis when they entered Odessa, he was "burned at stake". Her two older brothers died fighting the Nazis. And she lost her mother to cancer before WWII when she was 7 years old.

This is why I say, that people make choices in life.

These choices should be based on moral desicions not on metaphysics or preferences.

Metaphysics is good for creative process, and preferences are excellent too, to choose what brand of soap you want etc.

Especially in this case being that the topic is influential violinists, the reason they are and or have been influential is because of their contribution to us. They reached the zenith of their expression, because they reached the ultimate in excellence in their craft. And to do that, one has to have an idea of what the standards are and discern/discriminate between what is good & what is bad.

May 3, 2006 at 08:07 PM · Hi,

Maura...thanks for helping me

add "razz", "razzing" to my vocabulary...had to look up Webster's to find out its sth. like to deride :)

One of my influences: Menuhin

Sydney...still in Heidelberg? Did you happen to attend the Julia Fischer concert last Sunday but one, in the "Alte Sauna" ???

Tschüss, Hansjürgen

May 3, 2006 at 08:07 PM · Hi,

Maura...thanks for helping me

add "razz", "razzing" to my vocabulary...had to look up Webster's to find out its sth. like to deride :)

One of my influences: Menuhin

Sydney...still in Heidelberg? Did you happen to attend the Julia Fischer concert last Sunday but one, in the "Alte Sauna" ???

Tschüss, Hansjürgen

May 3, 2006 at 08:21 PM · I wanted to! We were in Paris :'(

May 3, 2006 at 08:59 PM · Syendey,

I ma nto knonw fro my s[ellign


May 3, 2006 at 09:07 PM · Christian,

I saw "Raskolnikov's house" today...there is a plaque on it. I think this would mark the only instance (besides Sherlock Holmes and God) where a fictional character is commemorated with a plaque


May 3, 2006 at 09:18 PM · O shut up Ilya with your little conspiracy theories... what an idiotic thing to say.

Sherlock doesn't exist? What a simpleton.

May 3, 2006 at 09:33 PM · Ilya,

Are you in St. Petersburg?! Oooh! I'm jealous now!



I toooootally agree about admiring a male violinist/footballer/whatever. I've had to dodge a lot of rude comments in my day.


"razz" is a bit like 'deride", but in a friendly, teasing sort of way. :)

May 4, 2006 at 01:10 AM · Heifetz! pssst...most people consider their actions morally correct no matter what they are.

May 4, 2006 at 01:45 AM · Gennady: I, too, lost part of my family to the Nazis. My paternal grandparents came to the US from Russia in 1910 (they were from somewhere in the Crimea), and except for my Grandfather's brothers, they left both of their families in Russia. These were two big families, Russian Jews. My grandparents kept track of them until WWII, when they lost contact. They later found out (somehow) that both of their families were wiped out by the Nazis. So for me, too, philosophy isn't just an intellectual issue. And on the admiration list of violinists, that's why I'd also add Hubermann, who very early came out publicly against the Nazis and literally destroyed his own career in the process (since he was so popular in Germany). He also spent all those years behind the scenes building what is now the Israel Philharmonic. He was also in that plane crash that severely damaged his hands, and he fought back and revived his career. For all of these reasons, of all the great violinists, he has always been a special hero of mine. Some of his recordings are teriffic, too. There's a live performance of the Brahms Concerto that is fabulous. And considering that he played the Brahms concerto with Brahms in the audience, there's a significant historical connection. There's also a recording of an arrangement of Chopin that is stunning, plus other recordings of his. Yeah, he may have had his own idiosyncratic and old-fashioned way of playing, but what heart.

Be well. Sandy

May 4, 2006 at 02:59 AM · Sander. I doubt philosophy would be "just an intellectual issue" for you were it not for those events. I'm sure there are many people here with interesting firsthand experiences.

May 4, 2006 at 04:03 AM · Jim,

The floor is yours. We are all ears............

May 4, 2006 at 03:58 AM · I decline your invitation, mr. morality.

May 4, 2006 at 04:08 AM · BTW Jim,

in regards to your comment "most people consider their actions morally correct no matter what they are."

I doubt that someone like Jeffrey Dahmer, a notorious serial killer and cannibal considered his actions morally correct. Dahmer confessed readily and went to trial pleading guilty but insane.

Dahmer was arrested and a media explosion hit Milwaukee. No one had even had a clue a serial killer was at work until his arrest. Dahmer confessed readily and went to trial pleading guilty but insane. The trial was stock full of gruesome details of cannibalism and necrophilia, with police and the defense attorney telling of how Dahmer drilled holes in some of his victims heads and poured acid into their skulls while they were still alive. He wanted zombies that could not resist and could not leave him.


Thanks for the title but I would rather decline the offer thank you very much........

May 4, 2006 at 04:09 AM · To keep you from giving us an exception, I purposely used the word "most." It didn't work.

May 4, 2006 at 04:21 AM · Jim, do you always have to be argumentative?

If you agree with some things I have said that may include Quantum Mechanics, please share your experience from the scientific point of view, since it seems to be your area (or if it is engineering). I am sure it will be interesting for folks to hear it, really I mean it (no sarcasm).

May 4, 2006 at 04:24 AM · wow, that was strange.... I clicked once it double posted.

May 4, 2006 at 06:23 AM · "most people consider their actions morally correct no matter what they are."

Hmm, this reminds me of the Platonic dialogue, Meno. Socrates concludes that no one knowingly wants what is bad because no one wants to be unhappy...

May 4, 2006 at 08:00 AM · It's basic stuff. In a typical thief's mind, as he's stealing, he's stealing what he imagines he's owed. Any nation that's whipped into a war frenzy is certain it's in the right whether it is or not. It applies at all levels. One criterion I use myself that seems objective is the effect of the thing on peoples' lives.

May 4, 2006 at 09:35 AM · It's okay, Ilya. I'm not a spelling whiz either.

Kelsey - There are some girl Sidneys, but if you look in a names book Sydney is listed under girl names and Sidney is listed under boy names.

What an interesting discussion! Sorry about your family, Gennady.

May 4, 2006 at 10:37 AM · Jim: "Firsthand" experiences of the holocaust? What the heck are you talking about?


May 4, 2006 at 11:57 AM · Sandy, paraphrased you said "...SO philosophy is more than just an intellectual issue to me."

I said if the events you described hadn't happened, philosophy would still be more than just an intellectual issue to you, because of firsthand experiences.

May 4, 2006 at 12:04 PM · Nathan MILSTEIN, Yehudi MENUHIN, Ivry GITLIS and....Vadim Great Vadim REPIN !



May 4, 2006 at 03:07 PM · Sydney,

Thanks for your sympathy as well, but all that happenned (family loss during WWII), way before I was even born.

Now getting back on topic:

come to think of it, the other violinists other than Heifetz, Kreisler and Milstein, that influenced me most are: David Oistrakh, Gidon Kremer, Leonid Kogan, Michael Rabin, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and young Isaac Stern.

May 4, 2006 at 04:15 PM · Jim: OK, Gotcha.

Gennady: Yeah, most of my Russian relatives died when I was somewhere just before birth and age 4. But it is certainly likely, as I am sure is the case with you and so many millions of others, that I would have eventually gotten to meet or at least correspond with them or their decendants had they survived. The impact of genocide is incalculable, even at this distance in time.

But, back to what this thread is all about (Sorry to digress). How can such great violinists NOT be an influence?

Cordially, Sandy

May 5, 2006 at 04:12 AM · Sydney - I haven't looked in name books much as of yet...maybe if I decide to have kids someday! You are actually the first female I have heard of/met with a the "Sydney" spelling. Maybe B.C. is weird. ;)

May 5, 2006 at 08:59 AM · To answer to Sander, I think we all have "periods" for violinists... I passed through a "Milstein period", than a "Kremer one", than a "Bell one", but sure is that I never fell out of love with Milstein, Menuhin, Gitlis and Repin...



May 5, 2006 at 05:58 PM · I'm currently in my Jack Benny period. In fact, it's turning more into an era since I've been listening to nothing but him since I was 4.

May 5, 2006 at 06:32 PM · Any electric violinist who is rich and famous and talented.

May 5, 2006 at 06:47 PM · Toni, can you elaborate on or rather be more precise with the Boolean expressions you just made?

May 5, 2006 at 07:28 PM · Toni (or shall I say Lewis), I officially invite you to become an honorary member of my exclusive club, the Dead Horse Society.

May 5, 2006 at 07:30 PM · Emily,

That is impossible given that he is the Emperor, President Elect and chairman of that society.

May 5, 2006 at 08:24 PM · No no, We have elected him as the treasurer.

May 6, 2006 at 01:05 AM · I grew up listening to Francescatti and Ricci and Grumieux. Then Michael Rabin and Heifetz and Milstein, then more Michael Rabin :-)

Perelman's warmth and Zukerman's incredibly full and perfect sound... ah! I'd love to have time to listen again! I used to put a whole stack of lp's on the turntable and play them all night as I slept. When I happened to wake up, the most wonderful passages were filtering into my being. Thank God for these artists! I owe them a great debt!

May 9, 2006 at 02:04 AM · there are alot of talented, rich and famous electric violinists like Ponty, but as you know it is I who will be the inovator.

May 9, 2006 at 02:20 AM · to be honest i was more heavily influenced by eddie van halen than any violinist. fair warning is the record that made me want to play a stringed instrument and i only chose violin because my school didn't have guitars.

most influential violinists in my life were

zena miller (my first teacher, rest in peace), david zafer, jan swoboda, jeff martin (my first private teacher), ezra atsmon, zoltan remenyi, and my best friend sarah.

i know none of these players are particularly famous but they have influenced me more than any of the well-known players have.

most influential on recordings was henryk szeryng. he was and still is my all-time favourite violinist.

May 9, 2006 at 03:26 AM · D, is Zafer still teaching at U of T? I heard that he had been fired for some "conflict of interest" reasons but never heard anything further and he's still listed on the U of T website.

I'm assuming Jan Swoboda is probably the mother of Marcin Swoboda and Mateusz (sp?)Swoboda? They are such a talented and fun family!

May 10, 2006 at 02:16 AM · GF, you list the "young" Isaac Stern. Would you like to elaborate sir?


May 10, 2006 at 04:02 AM · Michael,

If you listen to Stern in his prime, it was great playing.

Check out the Hollywood classic "Humoresque" starring John Garfield, Isaac S. plays his "Pannette" del Gesu.

He sounds magnificent. There are many fantastic recordings he made in his prime.


BTW Brian,

the fact that some are debating something, does not determine if it is or is not.

When people 500 years ago debated if the world was flat or round, it did not change the fact that the world was really round despite the fact that many thought it wasn't.

If there are things that are beyond comprehension, it does not mean that they do not exist. It only confirms our limited understanding of the vastness of the many possibilities out there in the universe.

Romanticizing about it and applying Existentialist twists does not solve the unknown. It only makes a nice play on words etc.

May 10, 2006 at 08:18 AM · Brian,

Read Kant and Kierkegaard.

May 10, 2006 at 03:31 PM · I would also highly recommend:

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

Quantumelectrodynamics (QED) by R. Feinmann

S. Hawking's - A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.

May 10, 2006 at 04:01 PM · QED is one of the greatest reads..a lecture series compiled by Feynman at the request of his non-physisict colleages--he could never explain QED to them...and so here he does!

Also, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman," an autobiographical set of stories by Dick Feynman. Covers his Los Alamos days, childhood, how to get ants to leave the cupboard without killing them...and much much more!

May 10, 2006 at 04:54 PM · GF- just saw this thread. My sympathies to you for your family. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Philosophy - all of the above are great. To that I would add Nietzche, especially the later works like the Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil and Ecce Homo.


May 12, 2006 at 01:44 AM · kelsey: i went to the edward johnson building in february and was told that he was no longer there.

May 12, 2006 at 03:05 AM · Heifetz, Gimpel, Heifetz, Milstein, Heifetz, Oistrakh, Heifetz, Stuff Smith - really!

May 12, 2006 at 03:21 PM · Brian,

I have to repeat that genius is not a matter of preference.

It is absolutely the wrong word and the wrong approach of looking at its definition (genius).

One is either born a genius or not.

You cannot choose or prefer to be a genius.

A good book to look into : "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand (philosophy of Objectivism)

And yes, there are individuals who choose & or prefer to be a legend/genius in their own mind.

Nevertheless that is is a whole other issue.

You have to consider:

defining creative genius: “Individuals credited with creative ideas or products that have left a large impression on a particular domain of intellectual or aesthetic activity.”

Genius is also eminence in one’s field.

How is eminence achieved? Through the public acclaim, affirmed over time, that one has done something very important that has left a “large impression on a particular domain of intellectual or aesthetic activity."

This is why I brought examples of Mozart and Einstein in our previous discussion.

Again, your word "preference" is more appropriate for choosing things like what brand of shampoo or cereal to use etc. but absolutely not for defining genius.


Heifetz, Kreisler, Oistrakh, Kremer

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