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Herman Krebbers (b1923)


Herman Krebbers studied violin at Amsterdam’s Muzieklyceum Conservatory with Oskar Back (a pupil of Ysaÿe and Thomson) and later taught there himself, as well as at the Robert Schumann Institute, Düsseldorf. Franz Peter Zimmerman is amongst his more renowned students. A boating accident in 1979 brought Krebbers’s performing career to a halt; he has since concentrated on teaching and judging at international violin competitions (including the Queen Elisabeth, Sibelius, and Flesch). He was able to play again after a long rehabilitation, but although some judged him better than before, he chose to avoid the public stage.

In many ways Krebbers’s playing is very similar to that of his lifelong friend and colleague, Theo Olof. Both have an intense sound, well-modulated vibrato (continuous but never intrusive) and a carefully considered approach. Olof’s recordings seem somehow more charismatic, but the differences are relatively slight and comparison of their respective recordings of Beethoven’s Romances bears this out. Their 1952 version of Bach’s Double Concerto is thus intriguingly well-matched in sound, although the whole enterprise is somewhat unexciting.

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