Sunday, October 18, 2009

Emmanuel Wirth

Emanuel Wirth (Emmanuel Wirth) was a German (some would say Bohemian) violinist born on October 18, 1842 (Brahms was 9 years old, but Paganini was already dead.)  He studied at the Prague Conservatory then became concertmaster of the opera orchestra in Rotterdam. He also taught at the Conservatory there. Later on, he taught at the Berlin Music School as Joachim’s assistant. He also played viola in the Joachim String Quartet. He must have been a great teacher because August Wilhelmj said of him that he was the best violin teacher of his generation. That generation would include Wieniawski, Ysaye, Ernst, Georges Enesco, Joseph Joachim, Henri Vieuxtemps, Charles De Beriot, Carl Flesch, Leopold Auer, and Wilhelmj himself. The 1713 Stradivarius violin he played now bears his name. Wirth retired in 1910 and died in Berlin on January 5, 1923, at age 80. (Heifetz was 21 years old.)

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