Brothers Amati ‘ex-Galamian’ June 2015 London Auction
Ivan Galamian © Peter Schaaf
“Mr. G. could take a table and teach it to play the violin.” [New York Times, 1981]
Ivan Galamian (1903-1981) was an influential force in violin pedagogy in the 20th century. His students read like a list of who’s who in both the performance and teaching worlds and his book ‘Principles of Violin; Playing and Teaching’, published in 1962, still forms an important part of violin technique to this day.
Born in Iran to an Armenian family, Galamian moved to the United States in 1937. Within five years, teachers and pupils alike were flying from around the world to New York for a lesson with him. Known as ‘Mr. G’ by his students, he taught at both the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, and would also give lessons from 8am-6pm at his apartment every day of the week.
Joshua Bell masterclass with Galamian, 1980
His pupils included soloists, chamber musicians, concert masters and pedagogues: Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Kyung Wha Chung, Peter Oundjian, Glenn Dicterow, Eugene Fodor, Margaret Pardee, Jaime Laredo, Lewis Kaplan, Sally Thomas, Robert Lipsett, Vera Beths, Simon Standage, Arnold Steinhardt, Miriam Fried, Michael Rabin, Donald Weilerstein and Dorothy DeLay amongst many others. Galamian – taught by Konstantin Mostras, himself a student of Leopold Auer, and Lucien Capet – secured a unique place in the tree of violin pedagogy.
‘Everything which looks beautiful is correct, anything which looks ugly is wrong’.
His teaching approach was structured and methodical, his technique for the bow arm revolutionary. He believed the best approach for training violinists was to put them in an intense environment with no distractions, with hours for practice and lessons during the day and chamber music in the evening, punctuated by two hearty meals. It was on this basis he created Meadowmount School of Music in 1944.
Galamian’s sphere of influence was unparalleled and continues to be unremittingly strong today.
This fine violin by the Brothers Amati was owned by Galamian from 1942 until 1951. It is to be offered in our June London auction with an estimate of £120,000-£180,000.
Antonio & Hieronymous Amati c. 1610-20