Saturday, December 17, 2011


I have been curious lately about the longevity - life span -  of concert violinists.  It seems most of them age rather well and die in old age.  Some have died young, of course, but, among the ones I surveyed here, half reached 80 years of age or more and the other half at least reached age 72.  I did a random check of twenty violinists born in the Twentieth Century (on this blog) and found the average age at death was 81.  The one lasting the longest died at age 99.  Curiously, among female concert violinists, a great number of them (comparatively) died young.  The ratio is, of course, skewed because, over time, there have been fewer women violinists than men.  Ginette Neveu died at 30; Arma Senkrah died at 36; Alma Rose' at 37; Eda Kersey at 40; Edith Volkaert at 42; Alma Moodie at 44; Maud Powell at 52; Johanna Martzy at 54; and Camilla Urso at age 59.  With time, that disproportion will correct itself since there appear to now be more female concert violinists than male.  Among the men who have died young are: Josef Hassid (26), Nico Richter (29), Julian Sitkovetsky (32), Francois Prume (33), Ottokar Novacek (33), Ossy Renardy (33), Dmitri Kogan (38), Noel Pointer (39), Michael Rabin (40), Lucien Martin (42), Ferenc Vecsey (42), Andrei Korsakov (44), Henryk Wieniawski (44), Benjamin Godard (45), Tor Aulin (47), Paul Kochanski (47), Carl Rosa (47), Christian Ferras (49), Karl Halir (50), Philippe Hirschhorn (50), Chevalier De Saint George (53), Nicolai Berezowsky (53), Lucien Capet (55), Joseph Achron (56), Eddie South (57), Stuff Smith (58), Leonid Kogan (58), Nicolo Paganini (58), Julian Olevsky (59), Grigoras Dinicu (59), and Vasa Prihoda (59).  On the other hand, Olga Rudge lived to age 100 and Roman Totenberg to age 101.  

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