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Edith Peinemann (b1937)

Edith Peinemann’s early life and training on the violin followed an unremarkable path: she (like so many others) was taught initially by her father and went on to a relatively low-key conservatory education (with Heinz Stanske, then Max Rostal at London’s Guildhall School). Since winning the ARD Competition in 1956 she has performed with dozens of orchestras and renowned conductors and toured worldwide, also appearing frequently at major music festivals. Certain things do mark her out, however. In terms of recognition, she is one of an elite group of violinists to have been honoured by the award of the coveted Plaquette Eugène Ysaÿe (David Oistrakh, Kogan and Grumiaux being the only other previous recipients); as for her playing, it is her utter commitment in performance and the resulting depth and strength of sound that make her a great violinist, particularly in big post-Romantic and twentieth-century repertoire.

Peinemann’s discography is somewhat restricted, which is regrettable given the strength of her contribution in the large-scale works she favours. In particular, the rarely-recorded and fiendishly difficult Reger Concerto (her 1990 recording is still one of only a handful, Kulenkampff’s 1944 broadcast perhaps being the best-known) is notable for its varied shapes and tones—from moments of great delicacy to the rich, broad tone in the post-Romantic slow movement of this vast work.




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