Sunday, March 11, 2018

Igor Ozim

Igor Ozim is a Slovenian (Yugoslavian) violinist and teacher born (in Ljubljana) on May 9, 1931.  (Ljubljana – formerly in Yugoslavia - is now in Slovenia and it is its capital.)  He is widely known as a violin pedagogue rather than as a touring concert violinist, although that is how he began his career.  He started violin lessons in his native city with Leon Pfeifer (a student of Otakar Sevcik) at the Academy of Music at age 8.  However, by that time, he had already been studying violin for three years but with someone I don’t know anything about.  When he was 18, after graduating from the academy, he traveled to England to study with Albert Sammons at the Royal College of Music (commonly referred to as the RCM.)  He followed that up with two years of study with Max Rostal, either as a private student or at the Guildhall School of Music where Rostal was a teacher.  Ozim was now 20 years old.  In 1951, he won the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition.  After that, Ozim made his formal debut in England – first in a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London and then in Liverpool, playing the Mendelssohn e minor concerto with the Liverpool Philharmonic.  In 1953, he won another violin competition (the ARD Competition, in Munich, in its second year of existence.  The name ARD in German is a very long name but translates to something like “German Consortium of Public Broadcasters.”  Technically, every German household is a member of the ARD since fees charged by and paid to the ARD are not optional; they are mandatory.)  He was 22 years old.  Ozim then embarked on a concertizing career which eventually took him to the Far East, Australia, the U.S., Europe, and Russia.  He has appeared with top orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and many others.  His repertory ranges from early Baroque to contemporary and includes approximately 60 concertos.  Understandably, he has premiered many works by Slovenian composers.  His recordings are few but cover some of the standard repertoire as well as many contemporary, modern works.  He continues to tour as a much-respected violin pedagogue, holding master classes in several countries.  Ozim has held teaching posts at the Advanced Music School in Cologne (Germany), the Advanced School of the Arts in Bern (Switzerland), and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.  His most famous pupils are probably Richard Tognetti and Lea Birringer.  Here is a YouTube audio file of the Mozart Rondo in C with Ozim and the Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra.