Saturday, July 18, 2009

Louis Zimmermann

Louis Zimmermann was a Dutch concert violinist, composer, and teacher born on July 19, 1873 (Brahms was 40 years old.) His first lessons were with his father. As a teenager, in Leipzig (1890), he studied with Hans Sitt. Later on, he studied with Eugene Ysaye in Brussels. In the late 1890s, he played in some Royal Court Orchestra in Germany. He then played first chair (in the first violin section) of the Royal Concertgebouw (Orchestra) from 1899 to 1904. He had the distinction of playing the violin solos at the English premiere of Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben in 1902, with the composer on the podium. From 1904 he was a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Amsterdam and then Concertmaster of the Concertgebouw from January, 1911 to January, 1940. He was a regular soloist with the orchestra, as when he played the Beethoven violin concerto with them on November 29, 1931, and again on January 10, 1937. A live recording of his rendering of the Beethoven is still available. Here is a rare YouTube audio file of one of his recordings.  Zimmermann’s compositions include chamber music, a violin concerto (premiered in 1921), and cadenzas for the Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart violin concertos. Louis Zimmermann died on March 6, 1954, at age 80.  


  1. Thanks for the bio, I was looking for one to go with an upload of the Concertgebouw Trio, complements to "satyr" at Check out my YouTube channel, 2ndviolinist.

  2. There are 2 pics of Zimmermann on Google images. Search for Louis Zimmermann in google and click on images.

  3. I finally replaced the photo - thanks.

  4. The picture here is actually not Zimmermann, but a youth-portrait of Willem Mengelberg (from approx. his time in Lucerne). Maybe you should just use the older picture of Zimmermann that you can find in Google. That one IS Zimmermann.

    1. Thanks David!! One of these days I'll get it right. By tonight I'll have the correct photo up.