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Erika Morini (1904 - 1995)

Four months after her death, Erica Morini was described in The Strad as the ‘most bewitching woman violinist of this century’. She received her first lessons from her father, a student of both Jakob Grün and Joseph Joachim, and proprietor of a music school in Vienna. At the tender age of five she played for Emperor Franz Joseph.

Morini entered the Vienna Conservatory masterclass of Otakar Ševčík at the age of seven as the youngest to have passed the entrance examination and the first female student. She studied with Rosa Hochmann—another Joachim pupil acquainted with Brahms—and took private lessons from Jakob Grün. Her studies with Ševčík informed her playing, especially his unique method of teaching left-hand technique, which was an important complement to the Grün–Joachim method for bowing (with a low elbow) that her father had taught.

In Vienna, 1916, Morini’s first orchestral concert was heard by Arthur Nikisch who invited her to Berlin; she appeared there two years later under Wilhelm Furtwängler. She described a concert under Nikisch with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1919 as ‘…the most important experience of my life. I was the only child who had been allowed to play there.’ Nikisch expressed his profound admiration with a catchy phrase which appeared repeatedly in concert reviews: ‘This is not a Wunderkind, it is a wonder—and a child.’




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