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Paul Doktor (1919 - 1989)

Like so many other violists, Paul Doktor began his studies at an early age on the violin, under the guidance of his father Karl Doktor, also a well-known violist. His conversion to the viola came about rather unexpectedly. Having received his diploma in violin at nineteen from the Austrian State Academy of Music, he was touring as a violinist with the Adolf Busch Chamber Orchestra when the second violist due to perform a Mendelssohn quintet with the Busch Quartet fell ill. Doktor stepped in without a qualm and this led to him joining the Busch Quartet in a series of Mozart quintets at London’s Wigmore Hall. He subsequently won the Geneva International Music Competition’s First Prize—the first violist to receive the honour with a unanimous vote. His chamber music activities later involved him in the Rococo Ensemble (which he cofounded), the New York String Sextet, the New String Trio of New York and the Duo Doktor-Menuhin. In the latter capacity (with pianist Yaltah Menuhin, younger sister of Yehudi) he made four educational films about the viola in which he brought lesser-known and rarely-played repertoire to the fore, often using his own editions of the works.



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