Ivan Galamian on Renowned Violinists

Category : Art, Music · No Comments · by May 19th, 2016

Came across this text in Ivan Galamian’s “Principles of Violin Playing & Teaching”. Ivan Galamian is a world-renowned violin teacher who has instructed the likes of Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. I’m surprised that this text is nowhere to be found on the internet, so I decided to transcribe a copy (emphasis in the original):

One student asked, “When there are so many fantastic violinists, why is it that so few of them become world famous as soloists?” Mr. Galamian’s thoughtful reply to this question follows:

“It is because, to become world famous, talent and genius are not enough. One has to be endowed with a brilliant mind that can work like lightning; with an ability to concentrate for long periods of time; with the personal drive, willpower, and perseverance to do the necessary years of preparation; and with the hands and innate muscular qualities of flexibility that makes possible the brilliant technique required. Further, musicality, the fine ear, must be innate; the personality should have appeal for the universal audience, and a high degree of personal magnetism must be present to carry the audience along, musically and emotionally. There must be musical understanding, creativeness, and imagination in the interpretation. It is only rarely in a generation that all of these things come together in one person. The lack of any single factor may prevent the achieving of world-renowned status.”