Sunday, April 21, 2013

What these pedagogues mean to us now...

I took it upon myself to create a violin/viola "family tree" of pedagogues to give a better sense of where these people come from (I'm struggling to create a portmanteau for these two instruments since they both come from the same word!  Make up a new word maybe?).  Researched violinists in the tree below are in orange, and violists are in green.  At this link here, you can also find the work of some dear soul who compiled an incredibly intricate genealogy that you should be sure to view in addition to my tree!

Please note that the tree implies each pedagogue worked with only one teacher, which is incredibly false.  A great deal of crossover exists within this tree, and many other pedagogues through the years are not shown.  The image at least provides a roadmap of violin/viola teaching through the years though (can I just say braccio instead of violin/viola to save typing???).  

While finding the information for this compilation was not too difficult, making the tree actually was!  Grun and Joachim for example both studied with Bohm, and both taught Auer, but sadly, family tree generators (or at least the ones I tried to use) suggest that biologically speaking, two brothers can't have a child together...  

In a different way, I represent this information through a timeline to provide a context for these many names (below).  Sadly, my Excel skills are not the finest, so colors here don't match the family tree.

What I notice before anything else through these data collections is that all of these violinists come from a lineage stemming from Arcangelo Corelli's teaching.  Of course Corelli wasn't the first person to play the violin, but he is largely responsible for perpetuating many fundamental aspects of playing still seen today.  Another highly important consideration gleaned from this data is the fact that viola playing comes directly from a tradition in violin playing.  I'll be sure to emphasize the rise of the viola in future posts, but for now, I'll leave this topic right where it is! 

Technical playing trends can been seen to weave through this tree, which I will also divulge in future posts.  Here is a more detailed list of my eight teachers of choice and some of their famous students.  
  • Auer: Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Efrem Zimbalist
  • Baillot: Charles de Beriot, Carl Flesch
  • Flesch: Alma Moodie, Eric Rosenblith, Max Rostal, Henri Temianka, Roman Totenberg
  • Galamian: Charles Castleman, Dorothy DeLay, Glenn Dicterow, Pamela Gearhart, Itzhak Perlman, Sally Thomas, Pinchas Zuckerman
  • Lillian Fuchs: Lawrence Dutton, Martha Katz, Yizhak Schotten, Geraldine Walther, Isaac Stern (chamber music)
  • Primrose: Joseph dePesquale, Jerry Epstein, Karen Tuttle, Yizhak Schotten 
  • Tertis: Phillip Burton, Rebecca Clarke, Sidney Griller, Colin Hampton, Jack O'Brien (last three were students of chamber music)
  • Tuttle: Susan Dubois, Kim Kashkashian, Michelle LaCourse, Katherine Murdock, Lawrence Power

SO!  Take a minute (or 4,832,904,829) and try to absorb some of this plethora of names and dates.  Maybe by the time you know what's going on, I will too (fingers crossed!). 

Until next post,


  1. Jerry Epstein also studied with Lillian Fuchs as well as Primrose...

  2. Hello, I would like to use your three on a master's degree paper. Could you please send me your info? Name, city, etc.
    Congratulations on this incredible blog!

  3. Si l'arbre doit montrer le passage du violon à l'alto, il me semble qu'il aurait fallu rappeler que Pierre Baillot a formé Charles Eugène SAUZAY (violin) qui a ensuite formé Théophile LAFORGE qui est devenu le premier professeur d'Alto (viola) du Conservatoire National de Paris. Il a donné ses lettres de noblesse à l'alto et il fut le professeur de Maurice VIEUX Le plus grand altiste de la première moitié du 20 ème siècle et le plus grand pédagogue avec 100 élèves obtenant leur premier prix au Conservatoire