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Austrian Violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan Died in 2002

A student of Otakar Sevcik and Julius Winkler, Schneiderhan served as former Concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic

Austrian violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan died on this day in 2002, aged 86.

Schneiderhan grew up in a musical family and studied with Otakar Sevcik at age 8. Rather than learning Sevcik's technique exercises, he delved straight into the Paganini caprices and major violin concertos. He later studied with Julius Winkler who helped him develop his own musical style.

Schneiderhan made his solo debut performing J.S. Bach's Chaconne in D minor at age 10, followed by his orchestral solo debut performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto at age 11. 

In his professional career, he served as the concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic. He also dedicated much of his career to teaching, holding positions at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, and the Lucerne Conservatory — where he encouraged his students to pursue orchestral performance at some point in their careers and to explore modern compositions. 

As a performer, he often composed his own cadenzas for Mozart's concertos and adapted Beethoven's Violin Concerto based on Beethoven's piano cadenzas. Schneiderhan gave the Viennese premiere of Elgar's Violin Concerto in 1947, the premiere performance of Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s revised Concerto Funebre in 1959, and often performed contemporary works such as Henze's Violin Concerto in the 1950s and 1960s.

In September 1952, Schneiderhan left his mark with Deutsche Grammophon, recording all ten Beethoven violin sonatas with Wilhelm Kempff in Vienna's Konzerthaus.

Wolfgang Schneiderhan married the soprano Irmgard Seefried in 1948 and lived in Vienna with their three daughters. 

 

WOLFGANG SCHNEIDERHAN | BEETHOVEN VIOLIN CONCERTO | EUGEN JOCHUM & BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER | 1959

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