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Violinist Victor Pikayzen has Died, Aged 90

A former student of David Oistrakh, Pikayzen won numerous international competitions and taught at the Moscow Conservatory 


Born in Kyiv in 1933, into a musical family, Victor Pikayzen attended the Kyiv Conservatory (now known as the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music) at the age of six, and made his orchestral debut at age nine. 

Pikayzen later joined the Moscow Conservatory, studying with violinist David Oistrakh, after the latter heard him play in 1944. He was the only student Oistrakh taught from music school through to college. 

A former laureate of the Tchaikovsky, Long-Thibaud, Queen Elizabeth, and Kubelik International Violin Competitions, he was a first-prize winner of Genoa’s Premio Paganini Competition.

Under Oistrakh’s tutelage, he completed his postgraduate degree in 1960, and became a soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra that same year.

Throughout his international performing career spanning five continents, Pikayzen appeared in prestigious concert halls across Russia, England, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Japan, and more.

Often performing the violin concertos of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khrennikov, and Kabalevsky, Piakyzen also had works dedicated to him by composers Aram Khachaturian and Boris Tchaikovsky.

Additionally, Pikayzen was known for his acclaimed performances of works by Ysaye, Bach, and Paganini — whose 24 Caprices he performed 78 times in his life. With his daughter, pianist Tatyana Pikayzen, he recorded the complete sonatas of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach.

As an educator, he held teaching roles at the Moscow Conservatory, Central Music School, and Schnittke Institute, plus taught as a guest professor in music schools across Turkey, Taiwan, and Japan. He also served as a jury member of various international violin competitions.

His accolades included the People’s Artist of the Russian Federation award and honorary doctorates from multiple international universities.

Recordings of his playing can be found here, while his performances at the 1955 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition can be heard here.

Our condolences to Mr. Pikayzen’s family, friends, students, and colleagues.

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