Chairman of the jury
Marcel Poot
Belgium, °1901 - 1988
Marcel Poot (1901-1988), the son of Jan Poot, director of the Royal Flemish Theatre, grew up in an artistic milieu. He took his first music lessons with the organist Gerard Nauwelaerts and subsequently studied solfège, piano and harmony from 1916 to 1919 at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with Arthur De Greef, José Sevenans and Martin Lunssens. His first prizes in counterpoint (1922) and fugue (1924) were earned at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp with Lodewijk Mortelmans. He also studied composition and orchestration privately with Paul Gilson.

Together, Poot and Gilson published La Revue Musicale Belge, a periodical that appeared starting in 1925. In that same year, he and seven other of Gilson’s students set up the group known as Les Synthétistes, which aimed to create a synthesis of the achievements of current musical evolutions, without sacrificing their individuality. In 1930, he won the Rubens Prize, which allowed him to study for three years with Paul Dukas at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

Marcel Poot began his career at the State Secondary School in Vilvoorde and also taught piano, solfège and music history at the music academy in that city. He taught practical harmony (1939) and counterpoint (1940-1949) at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels before becoming director of that school (1949-1966). Besides this, he was a lecturer at the Institut Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs, headmaster of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (1970-1976), a member of the Royal Flemish Academy for Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts, a jury member for the Queen Elisabeth Competition (1963-1981), chairman of SABAM (composers’ rights organisation), the Union of Belgian Composers and CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), and he was a jury member for various composition competitions.
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Vladimir Avramov
Bulgaria (Republic), °1909 - 2007
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Lola Bobesco
Belgium, °1920 - 2003
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Joseph Calvet
France, °1897 - 1984
Joseph Calvet (1897-1984) studied at the conservatories of Toulouse and Paris with Guillaume Rémy and Edouard Colonne. In 1919 he founded the Calvet Quartet, with Léon Pascal, Georges Mignot (later on replaced by Daniel Guilevitch) and Paul Mas, highly successful until its end at the beginning of World War II. Joseph Calvet was a professor at the Conservatoire de Paris.

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Zino Francescatti
France, °1902 - 1991
Of Italian background, violinist Zino Francescatti was born in Marseilles in 1902. His real name was René-Charles Francescatti. Both his parents played the violin, and his father René had been a student of Paganini. The younger Francescatti performed the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 at his official Paris debut in 1925.

By that time he was already an experienced performer. He gave his first concert at age 5 and played the Beethoven violin concerto at 10. From his late teens he concertized regularly, and after arriving in Paris in 1924 he formed a duo with none less than Maurice Ravel and embarked on an international tour. In the 1920s and 1930s Francescatti toured the globe, although his U.S. debut didn't come until 1939, once again with the Paganini Concerto No. 1, in a New York Philharmonic concert.

Despite his fondness for Paganini, Zino Francescatti was more identified with elegant, natural-seeming playing than with sheer virtuoso fireworks. Later in life he toured and recorded with the similarly fluid French pianist Robert Casadesus in duo repertory; they recorded a complete set of Beethoven's violin and piano sonatas, lyrical works ideally suited to their combined styles. Living in New York but often returning to France to perform and teach, he made durable recordings of several major repertory works, including the Beethoven concerto with conductor Bruno Walter and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Zino Francescatti retired in 1976, moved back to France, and sold his prized Stradivarius instrument to Salvatore Accardo. In 1987 he used part of the proceeds to establish an educational foundation and a violin competition in the city of Aix-en-Provence.
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Franco Gulli
°1926 - 2001
Italian violinist Franco Gulli (1926-2001) studied with his father (a graduate of Prague Conservatory under Sevcik) and with Arrigo Serato at the Chigi Academy in Sienna. He pursued further studies with Joseph Szigeti in Switzerland, followed by an international career as a soloist with major orchestras and celebrated conductors. Franco Gulli has also performed as a chamber music player, with pianist Enrica Cavallo and as a founding member of the Italian String Trio, with Bruno Giuranna and Giacinto Caramia. Recordings include the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas and string trios, the Mozart violin concertos and Paganini’s Fifth Concerto. Franco Gulli has taught at the Chigi Academy of Sienna, Italy, the Lucerne Conservatory, Switzerland, and the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, where he carried the title of Distinguished Professor of Music.
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Leonid Kogan
Russian Federation, °1924 - 1982
One of the twentieth century's greatest violinists, Leonid Kogan conceived a fascination for the violin by age three. At six, he began lessons with Philip Yampolsky, a pupil of Leopold Auer. When his family moved to Moscow when he was ten, he began studies with Abram Yampolsky. He progressed through the Central School of Music, then the Moscow Conservatory, where he trained from 1943 to 1948. Postgraduate studies at the conservatory occupied him from 1948 until 1951.

At age 12, Leonid Kogan was heard by violinist Jacques Thibaud, who predicted a great career for him. Although his parents resisted exploiting their son as a prodigy, he made his debut at 17 and performed in many Soviet venues while still a student. Wider recognition came when Kogan shared first prize at the 1947 Prague World Youth Festival. In 1951, he won first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. David Oistrakh, who was a member of the jury (along with Thibaud), thereafter came to regard Kogan as a colleague, while Kogan closely observed his elder associate during the latter's evening classes for other students.

After teaching at the Moscow Conservatory and playing a busy schedule of concerts in the Soviet Union over the next few years, Kogan made his first appearances in Paris and London in 1955, following those with a tour of South America in 1956 and another of the United States in 1957. After being named People's Artist in 1964, Kogan received the Lenin Prize in 1965.
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Arved Kurtz
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Yehudi Menuhin
Great Britain, Switzerland, °1916 - 1999
Yehudi Menuhin was born in New York of Russian-Jewish parents, but later became a British subject. He made his violin debut at the age of seven with the San Francisco Symphony in Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, following this with a recital in New York a year later. By the time he was eleven he had made his historic debuts in Paris and Carnegie Hall, at twelve in Berlin and at thirteen in London, thus launching himself at an early age on a career that was to take him all over the world for the ensuing decades, playing with all the leading conductors and orchestras. In addition to his renown as a great musician he is equally recognized for his committed humanism, exemplified by his interest in and work for the young, for international understanding, and all the many causes he finds close to his synoptic mind and generous spirit.

lt was on his first visit to lndia in 1952 at the invitation of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, that he met Ravi Shankar, developing a deep admiration for both Shankar and Indian music. Subsequently, they gave many concerts together and made numerous recordings which sold into the millions; the proceeds of all the coneerts given on his tours of India were donated to charity. In 1960 he was awarded the Nehru Peace Prize for International Understanding. Some thirty years later, in 1992, he was honoured with the title of Ambassador of Goodwill to UNESCO.

In recognition of the many concerts he gave for the Allied Forces during the second World War, flying over from America whenever he could find space in a military plane, Yehudi Menuhin was awarded numerous honours, amongst which were the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Lorraine from France, the Order of Merit from Germany, the Ordre Leopold and the Ordre de la Couronne from Belgium, from England the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal and in 1995 from Spain the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Merito Civil. Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a knighthood on him in 1965 and gave him the Order of Merit in 1987, followed by a life peerage in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 1993.

He is an Honorary Doctor of over 30 universities in different countries, including those of Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrew's and the Sorbonne as weil as being a Freeman of the cities of Edinburgh, Bath, Reims and Warsaw and holding the Gold Medals of the cities of Paris, New York and Jerusalem. He was also the first Westerner to be made an Honorary Professor of the Beijing Conservatoire in recognition of his concerts in China and of his endeavours in helping many young Chinese violinists to continue their studies in the West.

In 1963 he achieved one of his greatest ambitions, creating a boarding school for promising young musicians, starting from the age of seven and based on the Central School of Moscow, where the students receive both their scholastic and musical education under one roof. Numerous students of the Yehudi Menuhin School, which is officially associated with its Moscow equivalent, have gone on to earn university scholarships.
In 1977 he founded the International Menuhin Music Academy for young graduate string players in Gstaad, Switzerland, the site of the Menuhin Music Festival, of which he was artistic director for 40 years and for which he was awarded Swiss citizenship.

Yehudi Menuhin made his first record at the age of twelve and a year later began his long association with HMV/EMI, with whom he continued to record for many years. He has also recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (the complete Beethoven sonatas with Wilhelm Kempff) and conducted numerous orchestral works for Philips, Virgin, Nimbus and other labels. A great number of his early recordings have been reissued on CD on the occasion of his 75th and 80th birthdays by Biddulph Recordings, and IMG Records issued a boxed set of the complete Beethoven symphonies, performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Lord Menuhin.
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Yfrah Neaman
°1923 - 2003
After a thorough musical education in Paris and London under Jacques Thibaud, Carl Flesch and Max Rostal, Yfrah Neaman (1923-2003) made his sensational debut in London in 1944 and rapidly conquered the great concert houses of the world. He was an eloquent and tireless champion of twentieth-century composers, whose works - many written especially for him - he has introduced to audiences around the world. He was Professor of Violin and Department Head of the Guildhall School of Music in London and had been offered guest professorships at conservatories and colleges of music all over the world.

As an internationally acclaimed teacher, Yfrah Neaman gave regular master classes troughout Europe, the United States and the Far East. He was also a regular member of the jury of all the major international violin competitions and the joint Artistic Director of the London International Quartet Competition.

He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1980, and in 1983 was honoured with the Order of the British Empire. In 1997, the Worshipful Company of Musicians offered him the prestigious Cobbett Medal. In 1998, he was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, and received the title of Professor Emeritus for service to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
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Georges Octors
Belgium, °1923 - 2020
Georges Octors, a prizewinner of various international competitions, initiated his career as violin soloist. In 1956, he set up the Ensemble Bach in Antwerp which was welcomed with enthusiasm throughout its many European tours. In 1960, André Cluytens, the musical director of the Belgian National Orchestra at the time, hired him as his assistant. In 1975, in turn Georges Octors was appointed maestro and musical director of the same symphonic group. Georges Octors is very popular in the Netherlands and conducts various orchestras there. He has also been in charge of the musical direction of the Gelders Orkest in Arnhem for ten years, and has often been invited by many orchestras in eastern and western Europe (for the London Symphony Orchestra among others), in the United States, in the former USSR (for the Philharmonic Society of St-Petersburg among others) and in South Korea, where he performs every year. From 1976 to 1989, he conducted the finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition without a break. Georges Octors then took up the musical direction of the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, with which he recorded various discs which resounded in the international music press (Fanfare, Diapason, Crescendo). Georges Octors has also been invited to partake in the jury of various international competitions in Japan, Italy, Germany, etc.
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Ricardo Odnoposoff
Austria, °1914 - 2004
Ricardo Odnoposoff was born to Russian immigrants in Buenos Aires. The young man's exceptional musical talent induced his parents to strive for a musical education for him in Europe. An attempt to study with Leopold Auer, was unsuccessful, as the legendary teacher of several generations of violinists who for decades dominated the international musical scene (among them Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, and Misha Elman), hesitated because of his advanced age to take on such a young pupil. Therefore, upon the recommendation of Erich Kleiber, Ricardo Odnoposoff studied with the concertmaster Rudolf Deman in Berlin, and after only a few months changed to the studio of Carl Flesch.

Ricardo Odnoposoff received his diploma in 1932 after four years of study, but there was another event in that year which had more decisive consequences for the young violinist. In June, the eighteen year old was awarded a prize at the First International Competition for Voice and Violin in Vienna, and the interest of those in influential musical circles was awakened, among them Vienna State Opera director Clemens Krauss. The concertmasters of the opera and of the Philharmonic at the time, Arnold Rosé, Julius Stwertka and Franz Mairecker, were on average over 60 years old. As far back as 1923, Richard Strauss had noted the difficulties of the long-time concertmaster Karl Prill, which led to the violin solo in Strauss' Bürger als Edelmann being performed by Heinrich Schwarz. Prill retired in 1925, but the situation did not greatly improve. Clemens Krauss, who in many difficult situations in the history of the Philharmonic took decisive action, seized the opportunity and in 1933, without an audition, offered the 19 year old Odnoposoff a position as concertmaster.

Ricardo Odnoposoff's first performance at the concertmaster's desk was in Verdi's Othello on December 25, 1933, and his first major Philharmonic test was a gala concert for Richard Strauss' 70th birthday on June 10, 1934. Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted Ein Heldenleben and insisted that Odnoposoff perform the violin solo. Until 1937, he appeared seven times as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic, among them two performances of Mozart's Violin Concerto in A major, KV 219. For the 100th birthday of Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), he made his debut in the subscription concert series with that composer's Violin Concerto in B minor, op. 61, on January 25 and 26, 1936, under Felix von Weingartner.

In Ricardo Odnoposoff's own words, it was necessary for a young Philharmonic concertmaster to present oneself even more prominently as a soloist, and he therefore performed a recital which included the violin concerti of Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvorák, as well as the Mozart Concerto in D major, KV 218, under the direction of Josef Krips and accompanied by the Philharmonic. In addition, he made numerous other solo appearances in Vienna and on tour, among these a sonata recital with Bruno Walter as pianist on December 2, 1935. This artistic collaboration extended to the Philharmonic concerts also, as Odnoposoff performed a major orchestral solo, the aria from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Il re pastore with Elisabeth Schumann during a Philharmonic tour to London under Walter's direction in June 1937. On this same tour, Odnoposoff represented the orchestra in a special way, performing violin compositions by Fritz Kreisler at a gala at the Austrian embassy.

Probably the most decisive event in Ricardo Odnoposoff's career occurred in 1937. The Ysaÿe Competition was characterized that year by the legendary artistic duel between Ricardo Odnoposoff, Second Prize, and David Oistrakh, First Prize. This sensational success drew considerable attention internationally, and led to a reordering of Odnoposoff's career. His numerous offers to perform as a soloist led him to relinquish his position as concertmaster and he left Austria in the autumn of 1938, with the political developments of the time also playing a role in this decision. Upon returning to Vienna from solo engagements in Italy, he was suddenly refused admission to the opera house. After Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany, Odnoposoff, who had taken on Austrian citizenship and became an enthusiastic Viennese, was, because of the Argentine citizenship which he still maintained, no longer welcome in his own land.

He travelled to Belgium, and subsequently returned to Argentina in 1940. In 1942 he debuted in New York, where he lived until 1956. In that year he returned to Vienna and became Professor at the Music Academy in 1957. He taught at that institution until 1973 and counted three future Vienna Philharmonic members, Paul Guggenberger (1941-2000), Ortwin Ottmaier and Edward Kudlak (retired September 2003), among his students. Odnoposoff's activities as a pedagogue were not limited to Vienna, as he taught in Stuttgart, and until 1994 in Zurich. Despite this extensive teaching work, the focal point of his career remained the concert stage, as thousands of public appearances and a notable number of recordings confirm. Many of those recordings have fortunately been re-released on CD.

After the Second World War, Ricardo Odnoposoff appeared six times with his former Viennese colleagues. On February 1 and 2, 1947 he performed the Brahms concerto with Josef Krips in the subscription concert series, and in 1961 played the Sinfonia concertante, KV 364, with principal violist Rudolf Streng, conducted by Carl Schuricht, for the Mozart gala concert in Innsbruck, as well as for two concerts during Salzburg's Mozart Week. The last appearance of Ricardo Odnoposoff with the Vienna Philharmonic was on June 13, 1965, in the main auditorium of the Konzerthaus, when he played the premiere of the Violin Concerto of Theodor Berger, with Eugene Ormandy conducting.

There was one last personal meeting at the Musikverein on February 25, 1994. Upon his 80th birthday, Ricardo Odnoposoff was awarded the honorary ring of the Vienna Philharmonic after a rehearsal on the podium of the Golden Hall. The ring, surely the orchestra's most personal decoration, was awarded in honor of an artist who, though only belonging to the Philharmonic for four years, remained his entire life a proponent of our orchestra. Until the end of his life he maintained close contact with the Vienna Philharmonic, not only through his former student Ortwin Ottmaier, but also by his personal interest and identification with the orchestra.
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Maurice Raskin
Belgium, °1906 - 1984
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Isaac Stern
°1920 - 2001
Isaac Stern was among the most distinguished of the world's violinists. He achieved a strong rapport with his audience through his own personality and his visible love for the music, with an unerring command of the proper style for each work in his exceptionally wide repertoire. His technique was impeccable, his tone strong and warm, though not rich. He performed and recorded virtually the entire standard violin repertoire, including most of the many great violin concertos of the 1930s: those of Hindemith, Berg, Prokofiev (No. 2), Walton, Bartok (No. 2) and other works, some quite contemporary. His repertoire extended at least from Vivaldi to Dutilleux. Isaac Stern also dubbed on-screen appearances by actors impersonating violinists; his films include Humoresque, Tonight We Sing, and Fiddler on the Roof.

His family moved to the United States and settled in San Francisco when he was one year old. His mother, a professional singer, gave him his first music lessons. He began studying the violin at the San Francisco Conservatory in 1928. In 1932 he became the third immensely talented San Francisco-area boy to train with the San Francisco Symphony concertmaster Louis Persinger (the others were Menuhin and Ruggiero Ricci). However, he considered Naoum Blinder, with whom he studied until the age of 15, his only true teacher. Isaac Stern made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony on February 18, 1936, with Pierre Monteux conducting the Third Concerto by Saint-Saëns. After his New York debut in 1937, he returned to San Francisco for further study. He re-entered concert life on February 18, 1939, again giving a recital in New York. Soon he was one of the leading American violinists, particularly noticed for his young age, and his January 8, 1943, recital at Carnegie Hall (his first solo performance there) was a smash hit.

In 1943 and 1944 Isaac Stern entertained American troops in Iceland, Greenland, and the South Pacific. After the war he toured Australia in 1947, and made his first trip to Europe in 1948. He played at Pablo Casals' Prades Festival from 1950-1952, and the Edinburgh Festival in 1953. His tour of the U.S.S.R. in 1956 was an early sign of one of the recurrent thaws in the Cold War. In 1960 he formed a durable trio with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose; the group played the complete trio literature by Beethoven in bicentennial celebrations of the composer's birth. He recorded mostly for Columbia (which subsequently became CBS, then Sony Classics), with major orchestras and conductors, with the Stern-Rose-Istomin Trio, and in sonata and other duet repertory with his regular partner, Alexander Zakin. He made several appearances at the White House.

In the late 1950s, when the City of New York planned the construction of the Lincoln Center complex, it became clear that the plans as they stood would entail the destruction of the old Metropolitan Opera house and of Carnegie Hall. The latter, one of the finest concert halls in the world acoustically, was saved for posterity by the actions of a group Isaac Stern formed in 1960. He was chosen president of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, formed to supervise the artistic program of the great concert hall. He also was involved in the formation of the U.S. National Endowment of the Arts, and was appointed to its initial advisory board. He served as chairman of the board of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, which aids the careers of young musicians. Isaac Stern, among other honors, was named Officer of the Légion d'honneur of France.
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Joseph Szigeti
Hungary (Republic), United States of America, °1892 - 1973
Violinist Joseph Szigeti's (1892-1973) father and his uncle were both professional musicians and gave him music lessons. He advanced so quickly that he was soon assigned as a pupil of Jenö Hubay, later entering the celebrated virtuoso's advanced class. He began to play in public at age ten and made his formal debut in Berlin in 1905 at the age of 13. Joseph Joachim offered to teach him, but he chose to remain with Hubay.

After making his London debut when he was 15, Joseph Szigeti remained in Britain until 1913, giving frequent concerts and becoming a favorite. His partners in recitals included such illustrious musicians as Myra Hess and Ferruccio Busoni. Busoni, a pianist-composer and also a deep-thinking philosopher on the nature and future of music, became a formative influence on Szigeti. As with others in his line of work, his concert career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Settling in Switzerland in 1913, he accepted a position as a violin professor at the Geneva Conservatory, where he gave master classes from 1917 to 1924.

Upon returning to the concert scene in the early 1920s, Joseph Szigeti rapidly became a famous international name in classical music. He was noted for his quick understanding and advocacy of new music, and took up the cause of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Minor Op. 19, which he played it at the I.S.C.M. Festival in 1924. Later that same year he performed this work on his Russian tour, giving the Concerto its Leningrad premiere. He made his American debut in 1925, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 61 with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in Carnegie Hall. During the 1930s he also toured in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa.

In 1938, Joseph Szigeti premiered Ernest Bloch's Violin Concerto in Cleveland. Among other first performances given by, or works dedicated to, Szigeti were Bartók's Rhapsody No. 1, Alan Rawsthorne's Sonata, Bloch's Le nuit exotique, and the violin concertos of Casella and Frank Martin. His interest in new music led him to become a persuasive advocate of many great violin works that had been premiered by others, including music by Ravel, Roussel, Milhaud, Stravinsky, and Alban Berg. With the outbreak of World War II, he settled in the United States.

Upon his arrival in America in 1940, Hungarian composer Bela Bartók renewed an earlier friendship with Joseph Szigeti, and they played some concerts together, including a famous one at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He also took up Bartók's new Violin Concerto (No. 2), playing it widely. Through Szigeti's influence, Bartók was commissioned to write a new classical work for clarinetist Benny Goodman. Bartók responded with Contrasts, scored for the uniquely non-blending ensemble of piano, violin, and clarinet, thereby including Joseph Szigeti in the work's premiere. He played frequently in America during the war years, and afterward resumed his international career. He took part in the 1950 Prades Festival organized by cellist Pablo Casals. He was naturalized as an American citizen in 1951.

By 1960, Joseph Szigeti had scaled down the number of his personal appearences, and in that year he settled in Switzerland. He subsequently withdrew from the concert stage, and taught only a limited number of students. He wrote scholarly studies on great works of the violin repertory, the history of the violin and its playing styles, and made changes to his already published autobiography. Joseph Szigeti was also a welcome member of the juries on several international violin competitions, where his discerning ear and wise judgment were highly influential.
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Eugenia Uminska
°1910 - 1980
Eugenia Uminska (1910-1980) studied violin wit J. Jarzębski at the conservatory in Warsaw, with O. Ševcik in Prague and with G. Enescu in Paris. She gave concerts in many European countries. She was the first performer of many works written by Polish composers and an outstanding interpreter of the works of K. Szymanowski, with whom she performed and recorded. During the Nazi occupation she performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the music café of B. Woytowicz and other places accessible to Polish citizens. Then, as a consequence of her patriotic attitude, she had to hide from the Gestapo. She was awarded by PWM Edition for her initiative in performing Polish music (1948). In 1949 she was honoured with the Order of the Banner of Labour. At PWM she prepared for print many works of Polish composers, such as K. Szymanowski, H. Wieniawski, Z. Noskowski, A. Andrzejewski, A. Zarzycki, A. Malawski. Among her students were: K. Danczowska, J. Kaliszewska, T. Głąbówna, W. Kwaśny. Eugenia Uminska was the Rector of the Kraków Academy of Music in the difficult times after the death of B. Rutkowski, helped by Prorector J. Hoffman (1964-66). In 1965, in cooperation with Kraków Philhamonics, the school initiated the festival Days of Organ Music.
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Sandor Vegh
Hungary (Republic), France, °1912 - 1997
World-famous violinist, chamber musician and conductor, Sándor Végh (1912-1997) was one of the internationally best-known Hungarian musicians of the twentieth century. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music under Nándor Zsolt (from 1924 to 1929) and Jenő Hubay (from 1929 to 1931), and studied composition from 1928 to 1929 under Zoltán Kodály. He made his début as a violinist with a work by Richard Strauss, conducted by the composer, in 1927. He graduated in 1930 and won the Hubay and Reményi Awards of the Music Academy. From 1941 to 1946 he was professor of violin at the Music Academy and subsequently left Hungary.

Together with Ilonka Krauss and László Vincze he founded the Hungarian Trio, and in 1935 he became a member of the New Hungarian String Quartet, with which he participated in the world première of Bartók’s Fifth String Quartet in 1936. In 1940 Sándor Végh founded his own string quartet, together with Sándor Zöldi, György Janzer and Pál Szabó. Consisting of excellent soloists, the Végh quartet was a resounding success worldwide. They won First Prize at the International Musical Competition in Geneva in 1946, following which they went on numerous tours around Europe, North and South America, and produced several recordings. Their repertoire included practically every string-quartet masterpiece, and they performed entire series of Beethoven’s and Bartók’s string quartets. Sándor Végh also enjoyed a significant international career as a solo violinist (the complete solo violin works of Bach being one of his specialities), and he continued playing into his old age.

He made use of his rich experience as a performer in his increasingly important activities as a teacher. He taught in Basle, Freiburg, Düsseldorf and Salzburg. In 1952 he met Pablo Casals, at whose invitation he taught and gave concerts in Zermatt, Prades and Marlboro. He appeared with the top artists on the musical scene. In Cervo, Italy, he founded his own chamber music festival in 1964; he taught and gave concerts extensively, regularly conducted the Sándor Végh Chamber Orchestra and the Marlboro Festival Orchestra. In 1972 he was involved in setting up yet another establishment at the initiative of Hillary Tunstall-Behrens in Cornwall, the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove. However, the pinnacle of his career as a teacher was the foundation of the Camerata Academica (1978) in Salzburg, which consists of the current students of the Mozarteum. In the last period of his life he performed extensively with immense success, and made numerous recordings with the chamber orchestra that is widely regarded as the repository of Austrian traditions.
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