Aaron Rosand

May 19, 2006 at 01:41 AM · Can anyone who has studied under Aaron Rosand give me any thoughts about your experiences with him, opinions of him, and the way he teaches? I'm just curious. Thanks!

Replies (67)

May 19, 2006 at 04:18 AM · He's a truly great master, one that I've come to appreciate more and more as I've gotten older.

Aaron Rosand is a very intense person who has a lot of history and practical experience behind him. He is a stickler for the fundamentals of violin playing and is the ultimate teacher for style and good taste. His discipline and adherence to the traditional ways are the model toward which I myself aspire. For me, he was truly the ultimate teacher.

Rosand is an exponent of both Franco Belgian and Russian schools. With me, he emphasized the Russian (Auer) method because that was where I needed the most work. His respect for Auer and Heifetz were very memorable, though I did tell Rosand that my childhood dream was to study with HIM and NOT Heifetz! He was my favorite violinist as a kid and still is today.

One thing I REALLY respect about Rosand is that he brings his violin to the lesson and plays it the whole time. There are many great teachers that don't do that, but I learned so much faster from watching him do what he was telling me to do. I had watched him closely on video for over 10 years before I had the audacity to approach him for lessons, and so it was utterly fascinating to see my childhood idol do live the things he had done on video. That he explains things so well verbally increased his effectiveness as a teacher even more

What I also really liked about Rosand was his ultra pragmatic approach to the violin. This is a guy who has hit the absolute top of the violin profession. Yet at no time did he give advice that clearly wasn't going to work. There's no BS in the Aaron Rosand method.

I cannot thank Rosand enough for solving the problems that had plagued me for years and freeing me technically to enjoy the music. I've always been enamored of his ease of play, and seeing him do it live was a real eye-opener. Though I don't play like him because I'm a different person altogether, he's the one teacher that really got me to where I was comfortable with myself.

Every day, I look at the picture I have of myself with him and thank him for being such a positive influence for music.

May 19, 2006 at 04:43 AM · He told me that I was a lot like Heifetz. He said we both had shoulder Arthritis. LOL

May 19, 2006 at 05:18 AM · You must play like Heifetz too then!

{evil gremlin Yoda laughter}

Seriously, how do you know Aaron Rosand?

Your bio sounds really neat, by the way.

May 19, 2006 at 06:39 PM · Hmm. Fascinating (read: enviable) bio, indeed. Do tell, Ray.

May 19, 2006 at 09:39 PM · Simple. Aaron Rosasnd and I were close neighbors in Connecticut. When I was building up the Stamford Symphony into a very classy orchestra Aaron was always available for some solid help and advice. He was and is a very class act.

Do I play like Heifetz? Yeah, riiiight, and I wish!!!

May 20, 2006 at 11:37 PM · He is a great inspiriation!! and a fantastic teacher.

Especially if you are ready technically and wish to work on repertoire.

Be prepared to play your first lesson without a shoulder rest.

May 21, 2006 at 07:08 AM · Oh, that's wonderful, because I just spent $35 buying myself a new shoulder rest LOL

May 24, 2006 at 05:04 AM · I have never studied with or met Aaron Rosand, but a friend of mine has. She says he is a wonderful teacher, similar in teaching style to one of my previos violin teachers, Joseph Gold. (He studied with Heifitz).

As far as the sholder rest goes, I have never played with one, and can't understand the big problem about not using one:)

Kelsey W.

May 24, 2006 at 03:30 PM · Can anybody give some recommendation on recordings by Rosand ?

I just came across one of his recordings : Heifetz transcriptions.

I really like the way he plays. Very nice tone, close to the old masters (Heifetz, Milstein, Rabin,...) to my opinion.


May 24, 2006 at 04:59 PM · Oh yeah.

To me, Rosand IS one of those "old masters". That's not so much because of his age (he's older than Michael Rabin would've been) but because of his style of playing. As a 3rd generation Auer disciple, he has much in common with Jascha Heifetz.

Pretty much anything across the board that Rosand did is in the caliber of the "Heifetz Transcriptions" album, particularly the recordings Rosand did in the 1970s. The consistency of Rosand's art is startling if you listen to him play today - there's no perceivable loss of ability due to aging as far as I'm concerned.

Rosand's Sarasate Spanish Dances album is a classic hit that belongs in every historyphile's collection. That album did much to bring back the joy of virtuoso violin music. My favorite track is the "Navarra" that Rosand plays both parts for. I just love the way it makes me want to dance.

"The Violinist" is another classic album that Rosand did. He signed my album copy of that, and it's one of my most treasured possessions.

Rosand himself has stated that he likes playing the music of Beethoven and Mozart. Indeed, his Beethoven Sonatas are unbelievable and incredibly tasty. I listen to his "Kreutzer" and "Spring" Sonatas constantly.

May 24, 2006 at 09:22 PM · Get a recording of Rosand playing Sarasate's Zegeunerweisen-- It's FANTASTIC!!!!

-Kelsey W.

May 24, 2006 at 09:39 PM · I am interested in Rosand's playing. It's clean, he gets every note, always has a nice tone. But, I think I prefer the 'imperfections' of oter players. I lurve the Menuhin recordings of Sarasate, even though the tone isn't so pretty, he sometimes has to slide further into the note, etc. But he seems to get more life out of each note - I suppose that's bow dynamics or something.

I don't fully understand why I don't prefer Rosand, considering that on most considerations he's probaly playing better than Menuhin.

And I prefer the Heifetz Zig, the one where he beats the orchestra in that last part. Rosand is so perfectly in time...

anyhoo, each to their own. I still play Rosand's album a heap.

May 24, 2006 at 10:43 PM · Greetings,

I have tremendous respect for Mr. Rosand`s playing (you`d be nuts not to) but I have to admit I find some of his recordings rather dull. This does not really make sense to me as I am not convinced it is all his fault. There is one recording which towers above all the others and should be listended to by all afficiandos of the violin: the Joachim and Ernst F# minor cocnertos. That CD is just mind blowing.

A lot of his other stuff is recorded with less than stellar orchestras/conducters and I suspect the engineering people and equipment is just not up to par. Whatever there is something odd. Maybe he never had a fair shake from the big companies. I know he was interested in recording for Mr. Oliviera`s label so it will be interesting to see what come sout of there,



May 25, 2006 at 12:00 AM · Sharelle and Buri, I think the same way about it. I heard him 25 years ago and played in his master class. I can't fault his playing, which is just insanely able, but for me very personally it was too big and smooth and machine-like. Except for Sarasate maybe, for which he had a great reputation. I don't think I've heard any recordings other than some Sarasate.

May 25, 2006 at 05:20 PM ·

May 25, 2006 at 07:52 PM · I sat next to Aaron Rosand at a recital in Wilton, Connecticut a few years ago played by a friend, Leonidas Kavakos. Leonidas uses a shoulder rest, even 'though he can play without one. I asked Mr. Rosand what he thought about that because I knew the stories of his grabbing and throwing away his students' rests - Mr. Rosand looked at me and said: HE (Leonidas)can use one (the shoulder rest that is). Quite a compliment/dispensation!!

May 25, 2006 at 09:48 PM · Yup, that's typical Aaron Rosand feistiness for all of us.

May 26, 2006 at 01:25 AM · Tony,

Being a friend of Kavakos, maybe you can shed some light. Did he recently change his style of bowing. I saw him perform a couple of months ago and his bow arm was extremely low, we're talking Joachim low. (Doesn't seem to affect his awesome sound at all though.) I didn't remember that from the first time I saw him, but this time I had binoculars, so maybe I could just see more.

Is this a recent development or did he always play that way?


May 26, 2006 at 01:33 AM · A friend of mine with 2 violinist as parents, is named after him, so he must be quite a charackter...

May 26, 2006 at 01:59 AM · Getting back to Mr. Rosand's recordings, he has a lot of them on the Vox label. Both he and Gitlis (among others) recorded on Vox. Generally the Vox recordings are great bargains, and one of the all-time bargains (if it's still available) is the 2-CD Gitlis concerto box (Tch., Mend., Bruch, Bart., Sib., Bart. sol. son.) for $9.95. Hard to beat. Still haven't gotten any Rosand CDs though (see comments of Buri above, with which I agree).

May 26, 2006 at 02:39 AM · I don't want to say buri and Mitchell Pressman are incorrect any more than I want to say that I'm correct, but the whole reason that Aaron Rosand is one of my favorite violinists is because he's NOT dull.

Lots of people complain nowadays about same-sounding interpretations. Rosand is NOT somebody who that tag can be applied to. As far as nuance and little charming tricks, he's as good as anybody at bringing the music to life. I'm constantly surprised at the things he does, even when I've heard the same recording of his 324565.78 times.

What Aaron Rosand does NOT do, to my knowledge, is play hair raising violin like the way a Heifetz would. He'll push the envelope of excitement, but there's always that level of courteous restraint because that's how he is as a person. Is it that unwillingness to really hack away at the violin (something I myself will do, by the way) that buri and Mitchell Pressman are hearing? Certainly there are passages Rosand plays that other people have played with much more spine tingling drama and swashbuckling intensity. Ivry Gitlis is one of those guys - you want to talk about DRRRAAAMMMAAAA and X-citement, that's your guy. I love Gitlis's playing to death even I'd never try to play like that myself. But I wouldn't try to play like Rosand either.

I've heard enough blood-and-guts recordings, as I enjoy them as much as anybody else has. That's why Rosand can be such a refreshing different look especially in something virtuosic like the Saint Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. He keeps the "French" feel of that song alive all the way through, and his final arpeggio runs after the quasi cadenza are so unbelievably cool that it's hard for me to believe that a human being can play the violin like that.

May 26, 2006 at 03:18 AM · Kevin, no knock on Mr. Rosand was intended. He is a leading light in the field, and who am I to knock him? The comment I was agreeing with made that point very clearly, namely that he is an outstanding violinist. I guess my point was that there are so many choices out there that you need a special reason to pick up a CD. I'm not saying that Gitlis is better than Rosand; I haven't listened to enough of Rosand's playing to say that; nor am I an unreserved fan of Gitlis, whose playing can be too fast and kind of extreme; just saying that I picked up the Gitlis CD and am very happy with it, especially b/c of the Bartok pieces which I got to know through those recordings. And I picked up the Gitlis CD b/c it was an incredible amount of music for the money:)

May 26, 2006 at 05:50 AM · Mitchell, I totally understood that you weren't trying to knock Rosand and that was why I qualified my previous post by stating in my first sentence that you are NOT incorrect for feeling the way you do.

In fact,I actually agree outright with you and buri as far as certain aspects of Rosand's playing go. Just because I admire his playing doesn't mean that everything he does is sacrosanct to me. For example, I am NOT a fan of his "Hora Staccato" on the Heifetz album because it's too polite for me and lacks that gypsy fiddle feel. Rosand plays the descending Eb major staccato scales with a gentle spiccato, and I'd rather hear some blood and guts on that particular passage. I myself would go ahead and call that particular rendition "dull", honestly.

Gitlis I feel exactly the same way about. Sometimes his herky jerky style gets to me, particularly in things like the Bach Chaconne where I'm used to hearing the smoothness of a period setup. Besides, I tend to want to hear things like Bartok with a softer lighter touch because the harmonies are so jarring at times that one does not have to throw more fuel on the 12-tone fire.

I love the playing of my favorite violinists, but that doesn't mean that I like everything they do unconditionally.

May 26, 2006 at 03:12 PM · Laura -

Leonidas didn't really change his bow hold as far as I am aware - but he is one of those people who can play pretty much in any position. I've seen him walk into a violin shop and try virtually every violin there, from Mirecourt factory type through top Italians, even if a violin hasn't got a chin rest, is set up badly, etc. He generally tries out a violin by holding it down at waist level, like some country fiddlers do, to hear its sound away from his ear. He also adjusts his bow hold and attack in performance depending on the music he is playing, so he plays Mozart much differently from Korngold, as an example, unlike a lot of other younger unthinking soloists out there (you know who I mean). He also will adjust his hold, attack and bow depending on his instrument and the weight of the bow - eg, his long-pattern Strad requires a different attack than a del Gesu or the Bergonzi he used to play on. He'll also use his Tourte bow differently than a Hill.


May 26, 2006 at 05:24 PM · I saw him play Brahms... he took off his shoulder rest for the cadenza, then put it back on after.

May 26, 2006 at 10:41 PM · does he have a third arm


May 26, 2006 at 11:28 PM · Teacher? He is important as player. He recorded violinconcerto's like 2th Joseph Joachim, 3th Jeno Hubay, 1th Benjamin Godard, H.W. Ernst, Arensky, etc. For rare repertoire he is more important that David Oistrach, Isaac Stern, Salvatore Accardo, Yehudi Mehunin, I think.

May 27, 2006 at 06:20 PM · Ilya do u ever have anything worthwhile to say unless you're playing the court jester around here??

May 27, 2006 at 08:01 PM · Someone's got to keep things fun around here. Keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. Life's more fun if we make fun of everything, especially ourselves. It's true though, I'm not sure that I've ever heard you say anything serious Ilya.....keep it up though. Someone should.


May 27, 2006 at 08:46 PM · Greetings,

a few days ago Ilya said something to the effect, 'I play everything up until late Beethoven in lower positions." I thought that was worthwhile but vot do I know from fency cooking,



May 27, 2006 at 08:59 PM · It was a good catch... Now that I think about it, I too would like to know how he put his shoulder rest back on after the Brahms cadenza.

May 27, 2006 at 09:32 PM · I had several friends who studied with him, although I never had a lesson. Speaking just about his teaching style, he wasn't for everybody. Many people transferred away, including one of my good friends. (The shoulder rest prohibitions were true when I was in school!) This same person, though, still talks about his lessons with Mr. Rosand and wouldn't have traded his time with him for anything. For one thing, as has been said above, he apparently could demonstrate anything in the lesson, and I personally heard him play on several occasions. What a player, regardless of age, and even more amazing considering! I can't speak as someone who studied with him, but I think it comes down to the fact that some people don't mind being told what to do as long as it works (and for Rosand it does!), and others can't stand it no matter who's doing the talking.

May 27, 2006 at 11:33 PM · I don't know Tia, that's a good question...I am trying to get all serious on the Montreal competition thread, but I just don't think that's really my thing, you know?


May 27, 2006 at 11:51 PM · Yeah, Ilyusha, we know. :)

In all honesty though Ilya, and I don't know if I'm speaking for everyone here, I think a lot of us would love to hear your serious contributions as well as the jokes. I know from my own experience, when I first saw that you post on here, I was really excited to have an opportunity to get such a great violinist's insight and opinions on all sorts of violinistic matters. Now, don't get me wrong of course, I love the jokes, but.....

Ah well, off my soapbox and back to my Wieniawski I guess...


May 28, 2006 at 12:23 AM · Maura that's the second time now... Ilya's head won't fit through the cabin doors of his private jet if you keep inflating his ego like this... "we all want to hear your opinions"... trust me it's just not good for him.

May 28, 2006 at 12:32 AM · Ilya, I know you do have a serious side to you really : ) But it's true, it is nice to have a lighter take on everything.

May 28, 2006 at 12:50 AM · Pieter,

I quote you from the competitions thread..."Ilya, don't you think that someone like you would be a popular soloist no matter what competitions you played in?"

Who's doing the ego-inflating here? :)


May 28, 2006 at 01:00 AM · Dude, Ilya, I saw that interview you had on the Deutsche Grammophon website or whatever, and you sounded/looked really serious, and I really can't get it out of my head that you're really a joking, satirical, sarcastic, fun-loving, guy who loves a good drink and some steak. LOL honestly, I would never have thought of you like that if it weren't for Violinist.com!! :)

May 28, 2006 at 01:05 AM · Ilya's a vegan Julie...

and Maura, there's a difference between stating facts and telling someone you really want to hear them talk.

May 28, 2006 at 01:08 AM · Are you a vegan Ilya? Didn't know that...

May 28, 2006 at 01:09 AM · Wait...no he's not. Were you joking Pieter?

May 28, 2006 at 01:14 AM · This is fun...let's keep talking about Ilya when he's not here.

May 28, 2006 at 01:38 AM · Jeez Pieter, I was actually criticizing Ilya for his lack of seriousness. Feel better now? :)

Yes it is fun gossiping about him while he's not here! I finally got around to listening to his recording of the Shosti by the way...(sound clips on amazon.com, I'm too cheap to buy CDs), it was pretty damn good. Opening bars of the cadenza sounded really spooky and modern, neat interpretation. Sorry Pieter, did I just compliment him again? :)

May 28, 2006 at 01:42 AM · Cripes, has this thread gone off-topic or what...

May 28, 2006 at 03:09 AM · LOL. He's seriously a vegan? That's such a hard life... how can one possibly live without cheese and ice cream? I'm a vegetarian and it's already pretty hard. But um... back to the subject at hand.

May 28, 2006 at 09:45 AM · Definitely not vegan...distinctly remember him wolfing down a non-veg curry in Malvern. Ilya, say something!! (I mean, write...)

May 28, 2006 at 04:17 PM · He's probably making a point of ignoring us by now...

May 28, 2006 at 06:13 PM · Naoko, your friendship is based on lies.

May 28, 2006 at 07:51 PM · Pieter,

all I did was eat some broccoli.


May 28, 2006 at 09:13 PM · Yeah, with tofu sauce everywhere. I'm exposing you Ilya, the lies have to stop. O, and maybe you should tell everyone about your PETA tatoos.

May 28, 2006 at 09:21 PM · Pieter,

I thought you were content with exposing yourself


May 29, 2006 at 12:25 AM · yea well if Ilya jumps off the bridge Pieter does too... never been one to resist peer pressure or be the one left out.

May 29, 2006 at 12:29 AM · Pieter, do you have instant messenger

May 29, 2006 at 01:40 AM · ... you sent me your AOL thing. I added you and I tried messaging you before I went to a masterclass but I was ignored.

I feel unwanted.

May 29, 2006 at 01:57 AM · try again viljoen

May 29, 2006 at 02:09 AM · ain't working.

May 29, 2006 at 02:13 AM · send me your SN over "submit message"

May 29, 2006 at 02:18 AM · nevermind

May 30, 2006 at 11:01 PM · Getting back to Rosand...I studied with him briefly but intensively, more years ago than I care to admit, in his semi-private master classes in Nice. He's a fantastic player, and I found him to be a surprizingly good teacher. He was very focused and articulate in explaining both musical as well as technical matters. His demonstrations were mind-blowing. I learned quite a bit from him in a short time. Yes, he does insist that all his students at least try to play without a shoulder rest - but he also taught us a specific technique to accomplish this. One of the many other lessons I came away with was the vital importance of physical relaxation and ease in playing - no matter how we may be feeling on the inside. He is an intense, dynamic and fiery person - and he can be pretty intimidating even when he's trying to be encouraging. He can also be very moody. A strong technique - along with willingness to make changes - and a strong ego structure would be very helpful prerequisites for a prospective Rosand student.

I believe someone had asked about recommended recordings. I have most of them, and there aren't any that I would not recommend. But some of my favorites that come to mind - whether in vinyl records or CD's - include the Joachim Hugarian Concerto, the Tchaikovsky, concertos by Hubay and Godard, the Ysaye sonata no.2 (Obsession), and his CD of violin romances. His recent DVD recital is first-class by any standards. Considering that it was made by a man past the age of 75, it's extraordinary! I've also heard him live many times. He never disappointed, and sometimes surpassed his recordings. A case in point, and perhaps the most special Rosand listening moments I've had were on three separate occasions when he played large segments of the Chausson Poeme in master classes. I'd never heard more transcendental playing.

February 2, 2010 at 05:18 AM ·





February 2, 2010 at 05:43 AM ·


Aaron Rosand.. Hmmm.. anyone got any CIGARS??!?

Very great player.. I know some people that might be able to answer your question if your still interested.  Email me.



February 2, 2010 at 06:03 PM ·

 Rosand is one of my very favorite fiddlers who IMO should have been a household name.  I had the privilege of accompanying him in the Scottish Fantasy with a community orchestra in 1980. He played an Ysaye Sonata as an encore. He also did a class for selected students from around the state. I observed him being both patient and demanding, kind and insistent. I've been most impressed listening to his Curtis students. One might quibble that his repertory was limited to 19th century showpieces but I have been moved to tear up not just by the Malaguena, but also by the C Major solo Sonata,  Cesar Frank, and Chausson. 

Gitlis has different strengths: his Alban Berg was a revelation when I first heard it in the '60s.

February 3, 2010 at 01:40 AM ·

 Well... given that the winner of the last Queen Elizabeth competition is his student... then he's done pretty well as a teacher. :)  I'm curious about how he teaches and would love to watch a masterclass of his sometime... he generally seems to teach the same setup I have (and, by sheer coincidence, one of my violins was based off the Del Gesu he walked into the shop with while I was there).

Re: recordings... I own one of his that in all honestly barely seems legit... as if someone bootlegged it... it wasn't well done ... his playing was not to blame.  So I agree with whoever said maybe his engineering team just didn't do their job well on some recordings, or something.  I've seen him playing fantastically before.

February 3, 2010 at 02:18 AM ·

You studied with him! Pretty cool!


February 6, 2010 at 08:37 PM ·

Aaron  Rosand  has  recently  sold  his  great  Guarneri  del  Gesu'  which  he  has  played   alternatively  with  a  violin  made  by  Ansaldo  Poggi,  in  his  classrooms,  with  much  pleasure,  for  many  years.

Master  Poggi  unfortunately  passed  away  in  Bologna  in  1984.   I  have  been  a  close  friend  of  him  for  many  decades.    On  several  occasions  he  told  me  of   the  great  admiration  he  had  for  Mr. Rosand  as  a  performer.

I  am  living  in  Rome,  Italy.   Also  recently  I  have  heard,  from  a  distance,  the  beautiful  and  powerful  tone  of  one  of  the  last  Poggi  sound-perfected  violins,  made  in  1980.   In  Italy,  his  latter  violins  are  considered  to  be  the  ideal  alternative  instrument  especially  for  soloists  and  concertmasters.    I  further  understand  why  Maestro  Rosand  switched  back  and  forth  with  his  Del  Gesu'  and  his  Poggi,  in  his  classes.

I  would  like  to  convey  to  Mr. Rosand  the  consideration  that  Master  Poggi  had  for  him,  but  from  Rome  I  have  no  way  to  contact  him.

I  would  be  pleased  if  one  of  his  pupils,  a  reader  of  this  site,  would  kindly  call  him  to  transmit  this  message  with  my  best  wishes  of  good  health  for  the  future. 

February 8, 2010 at 02:09 AM ·

Actually, I may not have been completely clear in a statement to Claudio in another thread. I studied with Rosand one summer in Nice. In his semi-private master classes, he did indeed switch back and forth for demonstrations between his del Gesu and his Poggi, which he kept together in a double case. But I've never known him to publicly perform or record with anything but his del Gesu from the time he acquired it. I still remember the consistent differences that I heard between those two instruments. The Poggi sounded more brilliant and biting, particularly on the outer strings - at least it did in the confines of the classroom. But the del Gesu sounded deeper, warmer, richer, and more complex.

I've heard Rosand speak  lovingly of his Poggi and of a particularly good Weidenhouse that he was fond of in recent years. But I recently learned from a friend of a friend, who is close to Rosand, that he actually has a very extensive collection of more than 30 violins, and even more bows! If Laurie ever does an interview with him, I'd love to hear how he manages his collection, in terms of storage, playing rotation etc., as well as mentioning some of the instruments and bows. He's an intense guy, but he's also sentimental. I wonder what was the very last thing he played on his del Gesu. I don't mean his last public performance. I mean the very last thing he played on it before turning it over to the buyer.

August 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM · I love Aaron Rosand's Playing! I've heard from a student of his that he lives in Connecticut, as do I. Does anyone have any sort of contact info for him?! I would love to talk to him.

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