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Violinist and Pedagogue Igor Ozim has Died, Aged 92

Many of his students, including Patricia Kopatchinskaja, now play as soloists and in leading positions across major international orchestras


Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Igor Ozim completed music studies in his hometown, before going on to study with violinist Max Rostal in London.

Following his win at the Carl Flesch Competition in 1951 and upon receiving first prize at the ARD Competition Munich in 1953, he embarked on an intense concert schedule in Europe and abroad.

Ozim’s repertoire at the time included around 60 violin concertos and several chamber music works. He was also the dedicatee of many contemporary works, for which he gave the first performances.

He performed with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Additionally, he recorded extensively from both classical and contemporary repertoire.

As an educator, he taught at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, and at the Mozarteum University Salzburg

He gave masterclasses all over the world and served as a jury member at major international competitions. From 2000, he also taught at the Académie musicale de Villecroze.

“I had the extraordinary privilege and pleasure of studying with Prof Igor Ozim at the Bern Conservatory from 1997-1999,” wrote violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in a tribute on Facebook. “[He had] a very detailed knowledge of historical performance practice and also dealt naturally with completely new music, knew and worked with living composers and was interested in everything that was created … He could even accompany all the sonatas on the piano.

“My time with him changed my consciousness — I realized that as a violinist you can actually learn and play anything if you follow logic and discipline,” she continued. “It was always crystal clear what he was talking about and you never went home from his lessons at a loss. The tasks were tailored to everyone, guaranteeing success with his practice method. 

“He demanded total dedication, diligence, punctuality and seriousness. The musical aspects were discussed but in the end each student was consciously entrusted with them,” she added. “He trained several generations of countless fantastic violinists, and you can always find them in beautiful leading positions in the best orchestras in the world.”

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

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