Russian/Soviet violin pedagogy - compiling primary sources

August 16, 2006 at 06:59 AM · Hello - I'm presently translating some Russian pedogogical material (including works of Yankelevich/Mostras/Yampolsky) into English and am researching the traditions of Russian/Soviet violin pedagogy for my doctoral dissertation. Unfortunately, so many of the Russian publications are out of print and lie buried on dusty shelves. I wanted to put a call out there for any leads/documents that would aid in compiling a comprehensive survey.

Replies (8)

September 3, 2006 at 09:42 PM · Two definite sources:

Institut Gnesinich,

Moskow Konservatory of Music.


September 4, 2006 at 05:55 PM · Hi,

I would suggest that you look up the material on WorldCat and see what you can order through interlibrary loans.

Incidentally, there is a new Guide to the Violin that recently came out in the U.K. (don't know if it is available in the U.S. yet) that has apparently one of the most comprehensive bibliographies on the violin and material related to it yet. It has been put together by Dr. Mark Katz. I would suggest that perhaps it might be a good source of reference for locating material.

Another good option might be to contact some of the great pedagogues in the U.S. from the Soviet School, like Oleg Krysa at Eastman, or Ilya Kaler at DePaul. Perhaps they could help you locate material or may have it themselves.


September 4, 2006 at 06:10 PM · Hi Masha,

The Soviet and Russian schools appear very different from what I have read and heard. If you listen to post revolutionary players in the FSU which can also be a period of time known as (AA) standing for after Auer, as opposed to pre revolutionary players, you'll find great differences in approach. Interview people from both schools. Don't mistake the two though!

September 4, 2006 at 09:33 PM · I wonder if Emil Chudnovsky might have some interesting insight on this via his mother and her friends. Emil?


September 4, 2006 at 10:30 PM · Go to this site on shar:§ionID=6

and look at the book "Techniques of the Soviet Masters".

Also, you'll want to read Leopold Auer's "Violin Playing As I Teach It". I haven't read Efrem Zimbalist's book (also on Shar), but I'll bet it contains a wealth of information. Zimbalist was one of the great (and underrated) teachers as well as performers.

Old Strad magazines have an extraordinary amount of biographical stuff in them, often more than official books have.

September 5, 2006 at 01:22 PM · Masha, can you read in Russian language? Actually I am also looking for Yankelevich works, especially "My school of violin playing". Is there english version somewhere?

September 5, 2006 at 06:54 PM · I have Zimbalist book, but it´s not a book about violin pedagogy. It´s a biography, written by a Zimbalist´s pupil, Roy Malan. Interesting about culture and historical circumnstances in Zimbalist´s life, but very few remarks about pedagogy.

Do you know "System of violin playing (Sistema skrypichnoy igry)" by A. Markov? Only exercises, but useful to understand pupils´ technical development, by this outstanding performer and teacher.

September 5, 2006 at 10:26 PM · Thanks, all, for the responses! Yes, I'm familiar with most of the sources you mentioned, and it is true that there is a difference in the Auer school vs. the Soviet school, although the pedagogical lineage continued (Tseitlin, Mostras and Yampolsky all studied with Auer, too). I've actually been unearthing a number of interesting books (all out of print and in Russian, though) and I am putting together a comprehensive history of violin pedagogy in Russia to help clarify some of the confusion and to translate (yes, I do speak Russian) some of this fascinating stuff into English (as of now, Yankelevich's book has only been translated into French). Thanks for your input - the more information, the better!

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