Joseph Joachim.

Violinist Joseph Joachim.

Over the past 200 years or so, music lovers have been fortunate to experience many “giant interpreters”. While there are too many to mention, I will mention a few.

Pianist Glenn Gould had a huge influence on the way the public got a whole new insight into the music of Bach.

Violinist Jascha Heifetz was certainly a major influence on violin performance. and Jacqueline DuPre had an influence for a few brief years on Cello performance, before her tragic death.

Let’s explore today the life and history of violinist Joseph Joachim, who was born in 1831.

He was a colleague and friend of Johannes Brahms; he was also very well known in his day as a chamber musician, as a teacher, and as a soloist.

Joachim was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire. At an early age he showed signs of strong interest in music, and his parents lined up excellent teachers for him.

Just to set the time-frame for you, Joachim knew Felix Mendelssohn and I believe that the Mendelssohn violin concerto was premiered by him.

Johannes Brahms was a pianist, so he relied on Joachim for technical advice regarding violin scores. This was particularly true in the case of the Brahms violin concerto, and also for the concerto for violin and Cello.

Joachim was also a composer, but his works are hardly if ever performed these days.

The violin teacher Leopoldo Auer, who taught Heifetz, was a student of Joseph Joachim. and naturally, Joachim also,knew Clara Schumann, and likely performed with her, as well.

Like some other well-known artists of his time, Joachim was Jewish. It is likely that Brahms resisted expressing fashionable anti-Semitic remarks during his lifetime, because he was respectful of the religious background of his friend and colleague.