The Music Treasury for 20 May 2018 – Violinist Josef Gingold

by | May 19, 2018 | Streams and Podcasts

This week’s version of The Music Treasury will feature performances by the Josef Gingold, a master violinist from the 1900s.

Although he was born in Russia and studied/performed in Europe, most of his career was in the United States.  He held long-term concertmaster positions in several orchestras of note, performed under George Szell and Arturo Toscanini.  He had a significant connection with violinist Eugene Ysaye, and performed the premier of one of Ysaye’s solo violin sonatas.

A distinguished teacher as well, his students include Jamie Laredo and Joshua Bell, and held in high regard for the master classes gave and guidance to chamber and orchestral ensembles.

This week’s show can be heard on 20 May 2018, between 19:00 and 21:00 PDT on its host station in the Bay Area, KZSU, as well as parallel streaming on the ‘Net at  The host will be none other than Dr Gary Lemco.

More information, along with the playlist, can be found below.


Josef Gingold, violinist

Josef Gingold, (1909-1985) was a Russian-born violinist who played under Toscanini and George Szell and later became one of the two or three most influential American violin teachers.

Mr. Gingold was born in Brest-Litovsk, at that time a Russian city. He gave his first public performance during World War I, for an encampment of occupying German soldiers who paid him in food rations.

After the war, he immigrated to the U.S. with his family. He studied with Vladimir Graffman and made his New York debut at Aeolian Hall in 1926. The next year he went to Belgium to study with the legendary Eugene Ysaye, whom he considered the “master of masters.” He gave the premiere of Ysaye’s Third Sonata for unaccompanied violin.

Returning to the U.S., he took on various musical jobs during the Depression, including long stints in Broadway orchestras. In 1937, he was selected for the first-violin section of Toscanini’s elite NBC Symphony Orchestra. From 1943 to 1946, he was concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony.

He then capped his orchestral career by serving for 13 years as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra during its glory days under George Szell. He formed a close relationship with the famously exacting Szell, of whom he later said, “He had the greatest influence on me as a musician and, without my realizing it at the time, as a teacher.”

Mr. Gingold had begun teaching at the age of 13 and taught at Case Western Reserve University while with the Cleveland Orchestra. He took up teaching full time when he left Cleveland in 1960 to join the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music at Bloomington. He also taught chamber music at the Meadowmount School of Music and gave annual master classes at the Paris Conservatory throughout the 1970’s. He served as jurist on innumerable violin competitions, including the quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, which he founded in 1982.

While many of his students gained international reputations — Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, Ulf Hoelscher and Joshua Bell, among others — he was noted less for the manufacture of virtuosos than for the broader values of musicianship he instilled in master classes and the close guidance he gave to chamber and orchestral musicians.

He is remembered as a vibrant man who played a paternal role in his students’ lives. Most important, as a performer and a teacher, he formed one of the last living links to the elegant, masterly 19th-century school of violin playing.

He is survived by a son, George, of West Hartford, and two grandchildren.  Tonight’s tribute includes some interview time given by Gingold in 1980.

Kreisler: Berceuse Romantique; Aucassin and Nicollete; Menuet in the Style of Pugnani
Francaix: Sonatine for Violin and Piano
Harris: Piano Quintet (1936)
Ysaye: Sonata in D Minor, Op. 27, No. 3 (played in unison by Gingold&Co)
Schubert: Sonata in A Minor
Bloch: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (w/B. Rubinstein)
Beethoven: Violin Concerto: Rondo: Allegro (W/G. Hardesty)

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