Menuhin as a Student.


Musicians as Students.


I have many “Hero’s” in the music arena: Johannes Brahms, Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin (and his mother), Gustav Mahler, Mozart, Evgeny Kissin.

Yesterday I attempted to purchase the photo of Yehudi Menuhin with Arturo Toscanini that you see. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in my attempted purchase. But I did a “screen shot” to save this image. Why? I saw in Yehudi Menuhin’s expression something so special. The wide-eyed glance by a young student at a highly respected teacher.

It occurred to me that any musician I admire was young once; and at an early age everyone needed guidance. Toscanini was born in 1867 in Italy, and he died 90 years later in New York. Menuhin was born in New York City in 1916, and he died in Berlin in 1999.

As such, there was an age difference of 49 years between the two, and certainly Toscanini was a world famous conductor when Menuhin was a lad of, say, 13 as shown in the photo.

And many years later, Mr. Menuhin decided to seek advice on playing waltzes and encore pieces in the Viennese style. He decided to learn this style from an expert: Violinist Fritz Kreisler.

Teaching is such a noble profession. And like every other profession it requires the right kind of skill. When I teach violin to young students, the key for me has always been to focus on the skill, and not on the person.

Rather than criticizing, a more powerful approach is to explore in what other creative ways the student might approach any musical idea or composition.

Here is Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5 in A Major, with Yehudi MENUHIN; and Herbert von KARAJAN is conducting the Vienna Symphoniker:



Tags: Yehudi Menuhin, Arturo Toscanini, Teachers, Coaching, Karajan, Fritz Kreisler