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Oscar Shumsky Plays the Brahms Concerto Live in 1979

This archival recording is from a concert with conductor Robert Emille and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra


When the American violinist and pedagogue Oscar Shumsky was just seven years old, the conductor Leopold Stokowski declared him to be "the most astounding genius I have ever heard." A pupil of Leopold Auer, Shumsky also spent time studying with Fritz Kreisler and Efrem Zimbalist.

Shumsky held teaching positions at the Curtis Institute of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University, and The Juilliard School, among others. In addition, he co-directed Ontario's Stratford Festival alongside the pianist Glenn Gould. For much of his career, Shumsky performed on the 1715 'Ex-Pierre Rode' Stradivarius.

Also a conductor, Shumsky appeared with the Canadian National Festival Orchestra, the Orchestral Workshop of Westchester, the Westchester Symphony Orchestra, the Empire Sinfonietta in New York, and the New Jersey Colonial Symphony Orchestra.

Brahms's only violin concerto was first premiered in Leipzig on New Year's Day 1879 by the virtuoso Joseph Joachim, who was also its dedicatee. In addition, Joachim composed and popularized a cadenza for the work which many violinists still play today.

Here Shumsky performs the work live alongside conductor Robert Emille and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, in a 1979 concert at Nebraska Wesleyan University.


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