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Auer, Leopold

violin concerto music pupils

Auer, Leopold, celebrated Hungarian violinist and pedagogue, great-uncle of György (Sándor) Ligeti; b. Veszprém, June 7, 1845; d. Loschwitz, near Dresden, July 15, 1930. He studied with Ridley-Kohne at the Budapest Cons. After making his debut in the Mendelssohn Concerto in Budapest, he continued his training with Jacob Dont in Vienna and then with Joachim in Hannover (1861–63). He was concertmaster in Dusseldorf (1864–66) and Hamburg (1866–68). In 1868 he was called to St. Petersburg as soloist in the Imperial Orch., and prof. of violin at the newly founded Cons. He became one of the most famous violin teachers in Russia. Among his pupils were Elman, Zimbalist, and Heifetz. Tchaikovsky originally dedicated his Violin Concerto to him, but was offended when Auer suggested some revisions and changed the dedication to Brodsky. Nevertheless, the Concerto became Auer’s favorite work, and he made it a pièce de résistance for all his pupils. He was active as a teacher in London (1906–11), Dresden (1912–14), and Norway (1915–17). In the summer of 1917 he left Russia, never to return. On March 23, 1918, he played a concert in N.Y. Settling in the U.S., he devoted himself mainly to teaching, first at the Inst. of Musical Art in N.Y. (from 1926) and then at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia (from 1928). He publ. the manuals Violin Playing as I Teach It (N.Y., 1921) and Violin Master Works and Their Interpretation (1925), and an autobiography, My Long Life in Music (1923). Auer’s performances were marked by an assured technique, exemplary taste, and nobility of expression.

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