To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. It was not entirely unexpected; at 78, the legendary Armenian pedagogue had been in less than perfect health for some time. But there was always a burning force in Mr.
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To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.
It was not entirely unexpected; at 78, the legendary Armenian pedagogue had been in less than perfect health for some time. But there was always a burning force in Mr. To the day he died, students were making their way to his modest West Side apartment one after the other, from 8 A.
In five years, almost anyone who wanted to be a violinist knew there was time to be spent under his tutelage.
Parents would fly to New York with their would-be prodigies, and teachers from all over the world sent him their most gifted students. Sometimes the teachers themselves would arrive, to sit in on his lessons and try to glean the essence of his method.
But more often than not they came away bewildered. Galamian said, but how he said it, and when. Yet Ivan Galamian did have a method, an approach to the violin that changed the entire feeling of playing it, replacing awkward motions with smooth ones, uneven sound with full sound. You know how the ball has to hit that soft spot in the center of the racquet to connect?
Well, Mr. Galamian found the same point of contact for the bow with the string, to get the maximum quality and sound. His lessons were always intense work, with no time for small talk. At exactly the time of your lesson the door would open. Escape for your predecessor, the moment of truth for you. Ivan Galamian believed that the ideal way to train violinists would be to spirit them off to an isolated place in the country with fresh air and without distractions, make them get up early and practice till lunchtime, feed them a big meal, practice a few hours more, feed them a light supper and let them listen to each other in the evening, playing chamber music or concertos.
In he created his ideal world at a rambling clapboard farmhouse in rural New York State. It was called Meadowmount Music School and it has operated every summer since. It was terrible! Perlman, who spent eight summers in Meadowmount.
Everybody around you was practicing and showing off. And those concerts! Probably the most devastating of my life, because you were playing for your teachers and your peers. This was the Inquisition! Galamian initially imposed the same interpretation of any given piece of music on all of his students.
The key was that those students who pushed to try their own ideas were eventually given their freedom. Galamian invited a colleague from Juilliard, Leonard Rose, the cellist, to bring his students to Meadowmount for the summer and coach chamber music.
Rose says of that first visit. It opened a whole new vista for me as a teacher. Rose spent 11 summers at Meadowmount, and when the work load became too heavy he brought his friend Josef Gingold, then concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, who became the chamber music coach and one of Mr.
Gingold, who now teaches at Indiana University. Many of Mr. Perlman, also worked with his assistant, Dorothy DeLay, who went on to become a renowned teacher in her own right. It was after knowing him that I began working all the hours I do now.
And he had a great ability to listen to what people say, which is rare. Galamian rarely showed emotion, least of all in front of his students.
Gingold with awe. He was feeling for this boy as if he were concertizing himself. So he said the hell with it.
Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching
Barbara L. Sand asked some of his ex-pupils whether their former master really lived up to his reputation Ivan Galamian arrived in the US in , having grown up in Russia and subsequently emigrating to Paris. Over the next 40 years, until his death in , Galamian became the most powerful and sought-after violin teacher in the country. Other students were winners of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky, Carl Flesch and Wieniawski competitions - in fact all the international competitions of note. But although such students ensured that his reputation as a great pedagogue remained unchallenged, Galamian also made his name as a teacher who could produce excellent results from less talented material.
Studying the violin with Ivan Galamian