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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Franz André
Belgium, °1893 - 1975
The Belgian conductor Franz André (1893-1975) completed his musical studies at the Conservatory of Brussels. He received the first prize for violin in 1912 and quickly developed a passion for orchestral conducting. Upon the establishment of Radio Belgium in 1923 he was appointed second conductor of the radio orchestra. In 1930 he led one of three orchestras of the newly founded Belgian National Institute for Radio Broadcasting (NIR - INR). Five years later he set up the Grand Symphony Orchestra of the NIR - INR, which he made one of the most famous orchestras of Europe, and with whom he performed many modern premières. From 1951 to 1964 Franz André was the permanent conductor of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 1938 he conducted the finals of the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition.
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Yvonne Astruc
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Vladimir Avramov
Bulgaria (Republic), °1909 - 2007
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Luigi Cortese
Italy, °1899 - 1976
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Raymond Gallois Montbrun
°1918 - 1994
Né en 1918 à Saïgon, Raymond Gallois Montbrun quitte sa ville de naissance dès sa petite enfance et effectue ses études scolaires à Neuilly-sur-Seine. De 1930 à 1942 il étudie au Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris, auprès de Firmin Touche (violon), Jean Gallon (harmonie), Noël Gallon (fugue et contrepoint) et Henri Busser (composition musicale).

En 1942 il gagne le Premier Second Grand Prix de Rome de composition musicale avec la cantate Pygmalion délivré et en 1944 le Premier Grand Prix de Rome de composition musicale avec la cantate Louise de la Miséricorde, sur un texte de Charles Clerc.

Entre 1944 et 1957 il mène une double carrière de violoniste concertiste et de compositeur. Il fait de nombreuses tournées de concerts en Europe, en U.R.S.S., en Afrique du Nord, au Moyen et Extrême-Orient et enregistre des disques pour Erato-France. À l'Institut Français de Tokyo il donne des cours de violon, d'écriture et de composition musicale de 1952 à 1954. Parallèlement, il donne des conférences au Japon, en Allemagne et au Canada sur l'enseignement musical français.

Directeur de l'Ecole nationale de musique de Versailles entre 1957 et 1962, Raymond Gallois Montbrun crée avec la Municipalité le Festival de Versailles. En 1962, il devient Président de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire (jusqu'en 1967) et Directeur du Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris (jusqu'en 1983). Il est ensuite Directeur artistique du Concours international Long-Thibaud, Président des 5 Académies de l'Institut de France, Président intérimaire du Concours international Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud et Président du Comité Directeur du Concours international Long-Thibaud.

En 1980 Raymond Gallois Montbrun est élu Membre titulaire de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts au fauteuil de Paul Paray. Il est également Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, Grand Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite, Commandeur des Arts et Lettres et Membre de l'Institut.
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André Gertler
Hungary (Republic), °1907 - 1998
André Gertler was a prominent twentieth century violinist whose secure intonation, imposing technique, and interpretive acumen set him apart from most of his contemporaries. He might well have been better known had he not focused so much of his attention on contemporary music. He played all of the violin output of Bartók, giving many chamber music concerts with the composer himself; he also played concertos by Berg and Hindemith at a time when these three composers were not yet broadly established. But riskier still, he delved into more uncertain territory, premiering works by Alexandre Tansman, Lars-Erik Larsson, Niels Viggo Bentzon, Matyas Seiber, and other lesser known figures. But his repertory also included more mainstream fare, such as concertos by J.S. Bach, Tartini, Mozart, and Beethoven, as well as a fair number of standards in the chamber music realm. Because of renewed interest in Gertler's career in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, many of his previously out-of-print recordings have been restored to the catalogs of major labels like Hungaroton and Supraphon.

André Gertler was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1907. From 1914-1925 he studied at the Franz Liszt Academy, where his most important teachers were virtuoso violinist Jenö Hubay and, for lessons in composition, Zoltán Kodály.

In 1920 he began limited concertizing in Europe, eventually befriending Bartók. The two appeared regularly in concert from 1925 to 1938, playing a broad range of duo repertory. During this period, as well as throughout most of his career, André Gertler also performed with his pianist wife Diane Andersen. In 1928 he settled in Brussels and three years later founded an eponymously named string quartet there. It would remain active until 1951.

In the latter half of his career he was quite active as a teacher: from 1940 he was a professor on the music faculty at the Brussels Conservatory; later he taught in Cologne at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik (1954-1959) and after 1963 at Hanover's Hochschule für Musik und Theater.
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Josef Gingold
Poland, °1909 - 1995
Josef Gingold was born in Brest-Litovsk, Russia, and started playing the violin at the age of three. Before coming to the United States in 1920, the Gingold family was incarcerated in a German internment camp during World War I. Nevertheless, he always spoke with optimism and cheerfulness when discussing his difficult early years. He studied in New York with Vladimir Graffman and in Belgium (1927-29) with Eugene Ysaÿe, playing many concerts in Belgium, Holland, and France.

Returning to the U.S. in the midst of the Great Depression, he supported his family by playing Broadway shows and performing other commercial work in New York. In 1934, he married violinist Gladys Anderson. In 1937, he became a charter member of the NBC Symphony under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. He remained there for seven years before becoming the concertmaster for the Detroit Symphony. In 1947, he joined the Cleveland Orchestra at the invitation of the great conductor George Szell. During his 13 years as concertmaster in Cleveland, the orchestra developed from a fine ensemble into one of the best orchestras in the world.

In 1960 he came to Indiana University where he taught until his death in 1995. Although the recipient of many worldwide honors and awards, Josef Gingold never considered anything as important as the time he spent with students. The Josef Gingold Scholarship is awarded annually to talented violin students at Indiana University School of Music.
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Arthur Grumiaux
Belgium, °1921 - 1986
Of the Franco-Belgian school, Arthur Grumiaux is considered to have been one of the few truly great violin virtuosi of the twentieth century. In his relatively short life his achievements were superb. He brought to performances guaranteed technical command, faithfulness to the composer's intent, and sensitivity toward the intricate delineations of musical structure. His fame was built upon extraordinary violin concerto performances and chamber-music appearances with his own Grumiaux Trio.

Arthur Grumiaux was born in Villers-Perwin, Belgium, in 1921, to a working-class family, and it was his grandfather who urged him to begin music studies at the age of 4. He trained on violin and piano with the Fernand Quintet at the Charleroi Conservatory, where he took first prize at the age of 11. The following year he advanced his studies by working with Alfred Dubois at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and also worked on counterpoint and fugue with Jean Absil. He received his first few major awards prior to reaching the age of 20; he took the Henry Vieuxtemps and François Prume prizes in 1939, and received the Prix de Virtuosité from the Belgian government in 1940. During this time he also studied composition privately in Paris with Georges Enesco, Menuhin's teacher. His debuts were made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn's concerto, and in Britain with the BBC Symphonic Orchestra in 1945.

Due to the German invasion of his homeland, there existed a short time gap between these two important events. During that time he played privately with several small ensembles, while refraining from public performance of any kind. Regardless of this slight delay in the initiation of his international career, once started, it quickly developed. Following his British debut, he advanced into Belgium academia when he was appointed professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory, where he had once studied. There, he emphasized the importance of phrasing, the quality of sound, and the high technical standards of artistry.

Arthur Grumiaux's playing has been included on over 30 recordings, nearly all under Philips, although his name is also seen on the labels of EMI, Belart and Music & Arts. The titles on these releases tend to be the compositions of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Schubert, and on occasion include works by Ravel and Debussy. One of his greatest joys in life was his partnership with the pianist Clara Haskil. On occasion, the two would switch instruments for a different perspective and relationship. Grumiaux was left with a professional and personal absence when she died from a fall at a train station, en route to a concert with him.

In addition to his solo work, he has recorded Mozart quintets with the Grumiaux Ensemble, and various selections with the Grumiaux Trio, comprised of the Hungarian husband-wife duo Georges Janzer (violin) and Eva Czako (cello). His successful performance career led up to royal recognition, as in 1973, he was knighted baron by King Baudouin, for his services to music, thus, sharing the title with Paganini. Despite a struggle with diabetes, he continued a rigorous schedule of recording and concert performances, primarily in Western Europe, until a sudden stroke in Brussels took his life in 1986. At the age of 65, Arthur Grumiaux left behind the memory of his elegant and solid musicianship.
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Georges Maes
Belgium, °1914 - 1976
Op zevenjarige leeftijd kreeg Georges Maes (1914-1976) zijn eerste viool en ging hij muziekles volgen aan de muziekschool van Ledeberg. Op zijn tiende maakte hij deel uit van een jeugdig kamerensemble, dat geregeld publieke concerten gaf. Als veertienjarige werd hij ingeschreven aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Gent, waar hij in een opmerkelijk tempo diverse eerste prijzen behaalde : notenleer (1929), viool (1931), kamermuziek en snaarkwartet (1933), en in 1935, o.l.v. H. Gadeyne, de virtuositeitsprijs voor viool. Dit werd het startpunt voor een loopbaan van uitvoerend kunstenaar.

Datzelfde jaar werd hij in Oostende aangeworven als eerste viool bij het Kursaalorkest, en in Gent als concertmeester van het Operaorkest. Daarbij kwamen nog een lesopdracht aan de MA te Aalst en solo-optredens bij het Nationaal Instituut voor de Radio. Zijn studies aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Gent zette hij intussen onverdroten verder; hij behaalde er een eerste prijs harmonie (1936), een eerste prijs contrapunt (1937) en een eerste prijs fuga (1938). Ondertussen volgde hij ook lessen compositie en orkestdirectie bij J. Toussaint de Sutter en vervolmaakte hij zijn viooltechniek bij Zimmer en Jacobsen.

Nadat Georges Maes in 1940 de 18-daagse veldtocht had meegemaakt, kwam hij als krijgsgevangene terecht in het kamp Stalag XII, waar hij drie maanden verbleef. Bij zijn terugkeer werd hij als eerste viool aangeworven bij het Nationaal Orkest van België, waarmee hij tot 1958 verbonden zou blijven.

Centraal in zijn belangstelling en liefde voor de muziek stond echter de kamermuziek. In 1942 werd hij dan ook lid van het toen pas opgerichte kwartet De Groote. Toen dit reeds na vier jaar uiteenviel, nam hij zelf het initiatief en richtte na de oorlog, in 1946, het strijkkwartet Haydn op, met hemzelf en Louis Hertogh als violisten, Louis Logie, altviool en René Pousseele, cello. Tijdens de vijftien jaar van zijn bestaan verwierf het Haydn Kwartet met gemiddeld 60 concerten per jaar nationale en internationale faam.

In 1958 werd hij leraar kamermuziek aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, waar hij met de jonge musici uit 18 verschillende landen die hij opleidde, schitterende resultaten zou behalen.

In datzelfde jaar bouwde hij, op vraag van Jan Briers, de pionier van het Festival van Vlaanderen, rond de kern van het Haydn Kwartet een verruimd kamerorkest uit, de ‘Solisten van het Belgisch Kamerorkest’, het ensemble dat zijn levenswerk zou worden. Als stichter, dirigent en concertmeester van het BK was Georges Maes een groot promotor van de kamermuziek in Vlaanderen. Met de Solisten heeft hij ook tot de vernieuwing van het kamermuziekrepertoire in België bijgedragen. Hij bracht o.m. bewerkingen van vergeten werk van 17e- en 18e-eeuwse meesters van eigen bodem, als Bréhy, Loeillet, Fiocco, Boutmy, maar ook, vooral in het kader van het Festival van Vlaanderen, tientallen creaties van hedendaagse Vlaamse componisten : M. Poot, R. Chevreuille, J. Maes, J. Decadt, Vandermaes-brugge, Laporte, E. Gistelinck, V; Legley, R. Herberigs, R. Van der Velden en vele anderen.

In 1968 kreeg hij om zijn inspanningen om de Belgische muziek in binnen- en buitenland bekend te maken de Fuga-trofee van de Unie van Belgische toondichters. Een hoogtepunt van de internationale prestaties van de Solisten vormden de concerten in de Sovjetunie in 1975. Van 1960 tot aan zijn plotse dood in 1976 was hij directeur van het Stedelijk Conservatorium te Oostende, dat onder zijn leiding een grote uitbreiding en kwaliteitsverhoging onderging. In 1970 werd hij op zijn verzoek als leraar kamermuziek van het Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel overgeplaatst naar het Koninklijk Conservatorium Gent. Op organisatorisch en pedagogisch vlak was hij actief in allerlei commissies en examenjury’s. Ook bij Jeugd en Muziek leidde hij kamermuzieksessies. In 1974 was zijn benoeming tot Professor aan de Muziekkapel Koningin Elisabeth de bekroning van zijn pedagogisch werk.
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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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David Oistrakh
Russian Federation, °1908 - 1974
David Oistrakh (1908-1974) is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartók. His violin studies began in 1913 with Pyotr Stolyarsky. Later he officially joined Stolyarsky's class at the Odessa Conservatory, graduating in 1926 by playing Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto. Performances of the Glazunov Concerto in Odessa and Kiev in 1927, and a 1928 debut in Leningrad (Tchaikovsky Concerto) gave him the confidence to move to Moscow. He made his premiere there in early 1929, but the event went largely unnoticed. In 1934, however, after several years of patiently refining his craft, he was invited to join the Moscow Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of full professor in 1939.

Meanwhile, David Oistrakh was gaining success on the competition circuit, winning the All-Ukrainian contest in 1930, and the All-Soviet competition three years later. In 1935 he took second prize at the Wieniawski competition. In 1937 the Soviet government sent the now veteran violinist to Brussels to compete in the International Ysaÿe Competition, where he took home first prize.

With his victory in Brussels, Soviet composers began to take notice of their young compatriot, enabling him to work closely with Miaskovsky and Khachaturian on their concertos in 1939 and 1940, respectively. In addition, his close friendship with Shostakovich led the composer to write two concertos for the instrument (the first of which Oistrakh played at his, and its, triumphant American premiere in 1955). During the 1940s David Oistrakh's active performing schedule took him across the Soviet Union but his international career had to wait until the 1950s, when the political climate had cooled enough for Soviet artists to be welcomed in the capitals of the West.

The remaining decades of his life were devoted to maintaining the highest possible standards of excellence throughout an exhausting touring schedule (he returned to the U.S. six times in the 1960s), and he began a small but successful sideline career as an orchestral conductor. His death came suddenly in Amsterdam in 1974, during a cycle of Brahms concerts in which he both played and conducted.

Throughout his career David Oistrakh was known for his honest, warm personality; he developed close friendships with many of the leading musicians of the day. His violin technique was virtually flawless, though he never allowed purely physical matters to dominate his musical performances. He always demanded of himself (and his students) that musical proficiency, intelligence, and emotion be in balance, regardless of the particular style. David Oistrakh felt that a violinist's essence was communicated through clever and subtle use of the bow, and not through overly expressive use of vibrato. To this end he developed a remarkably relaxed, flexible right arm technique, capable of producing the most delicate expressive nuances, but equally capable of generating great volume and projection.

As a teacher, David Oistrakh maintained that a teacher should do no more than necessary to help guide the student towards his or her own solutions to technical and interpretive difficulties. He rarely played during lessons, fearing that he might distract the student from developing a more individual approach, and even encouraged his students to challenge his interpretations. Perhaps the best evidence of the Oistrakh's gift for teaching is that he felt that he gained as much from the teaching experience as his students did.
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Theo Olof
The Netherlands, °1924 - 2012
Theo Olof, geboren op 5 mei 1924 in Bonn, kreeg zijn eerste vioollessen van zijn moeder, een bekende vioolpedagoge en soliste, en debuteerde op vijfjarige leeftijd in Bonn. In 1933 ging hij met zijn moeder in Amsterdam wonen en werd leerling van Oscar Back. Toen hij 11 jaar oud werd, speelde hij het Vioolconcert van Paganini met het Concertgebouworkest o.l.v. Bruno Walter.

Vanaf 1945 maakte Theo Olof vele internationale concerttoernees. In Nederland gaf hij een groot aantal eerste uitvoeringen van vioolconcerten, o.m. van Benjamin Britten, Alan Rawsthorne, Oscar van Hemel, Hans Henkemans, Ton de Leeuw, Jan van Vlymen, Lex van Delden, Hans Kox, Bruno Maderna en Tristan Keuris.

In 1951 won hij de 4de prijs van de Koningin Elisabethwedstrijd. Van 1951 tot 1971 was hij concertmeester van het Residentie Orkest in Den Haag. Van 1974 tot 1985 bekleedde hij dezelfde positie bij het Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam.

Theo Olof maakte tal van grammofoonplaten. Met Herman Krebbers vormde hij een internationaal bekend vioolduo. Ook zij maakten samen grammofoonplaten, o.m. van de Dubbelconcerten van Bach en Henk Badings en de 44 Duo's van Béla Bartòk. Met Daniël Wayenberg maakte hij een opname van Ravels Tzigane met de door Ravel voorgeschreven Luthéal, die door Olof werd herontdekt.

Theo Olof was heel vaak jurylid van vioolwedstrijden in binnen- en buitenland. Hij schreef eveneens een aantal boeken,waaronder Daar sta je dan, Divertimento, het kinderboek De Muziekwedstrijd, Melomedicon, over de relaties tussen Muziek en Geneeskunde, Mozart, geniaal componist en Mijn leven met Tsjaikovski.

Tot 1982 was Theo Olof hoofdleraar aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium voor Muziek te Den Haag. In 1994 trok hij zich van het concertpodium terug, maar hij bleef zijn andere functies vervullen. Hij was o.m. voorzitter van Het Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds en Officier in de Orde van Orange Nassau.
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Max Rostal
Austria, Great Britain, °1905 - 1991
Max Rostal (1905-1991) played an important role in the history of violin playing, both as performer and as teacher. Many internationally known violinists over several generations were students of Max Rostal. In 1991, a competition was created in his name in his adopted hometown of Bern, Switzerland. Initially hosted by the Bern Conservatory, and alternately held for violin and viola, since 2009 it is held at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) for violin and viola simultaneously.

It was Max Rostal’s biggest concern to do his utmost to support young musicians. For 65 years he pursued this aim in his teaching activities in distinguished institutes and in international master classes as well as serving on distinguished juries all over the world. Max Rostal called the Carl Flesch Competition into being and played a major role in founding the European String Teachers Association (ESTA).
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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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Yuri Yankelevitch
Russian Federation, °1909 - 1973
The first teacher of violinist Yuri Yankelevitch (1909-1973) was A. A. Berlin, an outstanding virtuoso and the founder of the Russian Violin School. Captivating classes alternated with recitals and joint appearances with renowned musicians in the concerts of the Omsk Philharmonic Society. In 1923 Yuri Yankelevitch joined the class of Professor I. R. Nalbandyan at the Leningrad Conservatory. Eventually, he successfully graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and did a postgraduate course in the class of Professor A.I. Yampolsky.
Yuri Yankelevitch devoted his life entirely to teaching. During his long pedagogic career, he nurtured over 200 pupils, many of whom, such as Victor Tretyakov, Vladimir Spivakov, Tatyana Grindenko, Irina Bochkova, Grigory Zhislin, Pavel Kogan, Lev Marquis, Dora Schwarzberg and Alexandre Brussilovsky enjoy world-wide acclaim. The name of Yuri I. Yankelevitch holds one of the most honorable places in the record of modern violin teaching, as he was not a mere successor of the great names that comprise the Moscow Violin School, but he was the founder of his own - the School of Yankelevitch.
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