Fodor and Schwalbé Sartory Violin Bows

Eugene Fodor (1950 –2011)

Credit NY Times

Eugene Fodor, NY Times


One of the most acclaimed soloists of the late 20th century, Eugene Fodor gained rare celebrity status in the US. He rose to fame with his first prize in the Paganini Competition in 1972 when he was just 22 years old, and came joint second in the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974, sharing the prize two Soviet violinists. With the height of the Cold War, Fodor returned a hero, famously being greeted by his parents and his horse.

Fodor studied at the Juilliard with Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian, at Indiana University with Josef Gingold, and for a formative year with Jascha Heifetz in 1970. He was dubbed an ‘irresistible combination of Western dude and musical prodigy’ according to a New York magazine profile in 1989.

Eugene Fodor’s Sartory bow is in our March 2015 London auction, lot 137.

Michel Schwalbé (1933-2012)

Michel Schwalbé, Telegraph

Michel Schwalbeé, Telegraph

Michel Schwalbé was the leader of the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan for three decades, from 1957-1985. They had a famously strong personal and professional relationship, particularly for one which could have been highly inflammatory – Polish, Jewish Schwalbé lost his mother and sister in the Holocaust, while Karajan was a Nazi party member. “The agreement of the appointment was seen as one of the many steps in Germany’s postwar reconciliation.” [Guardian]

Schwalbé was taught by Moritz Frenkel, Leopold Auer’s pupil and assistant in Poland, and then moved to Paris when he was 15 with his mother. He managed to escape Germany-occupied France to Switzerland by hiding in a furniture van. It was in Lucerne where Schwalbé met Karajan who encouraged him to move from Switzerland to Berlin, away from the safety it offered him and the prospects of a solo career. Later Schwalbé taught at the Menuhin School and gave masterclasses in London and at the Britten-Pears school in Aldeburgh.

Schwalbé’s Sartory bow is in our March 2015 London auction, lot 135.

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