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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » D » Dushkin, Samuel

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Samuel Dushkin (12/13/1891 - 6/24/1976)

Dushkin, who went to the USA at an early age and became an American citizen, was enrolled in the New York Music School Settlement, becoming a protégé of Blair Fairchild. On Fairchild’s instructions he went to the Paris Conservatoire for instruction, although he was also numbered amongst Leopold Auer’s pupils in New York and, notably, was one of only two ‘official’ pupils of Fritz Kreisler. His recordings reveal a rich and powerful tone, very much in the mould of many players of the 1920s and 1930s. There is a powerful vibrato on the lower strings, but his playing is generally clearer and cleaner higher up, albeit with a rather thick sound (possibly attributable to the properties of early electric microphones).

Samuel Dushkin’s name became deservedly synonymous with that of Igor Stravinsky (as both friend and performance partner) after Dushkin was introduced to the composer by Willy Strecker, Stravinsky’s publisher. It was intended that Dushkin would give technical advice concerning violin composition and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto was the first major work to benefit from this. The chord which begins each movement was discussed in a Parisian café. Dushkin initially proclaimed it unplayable but after further consideration told Stravinsky it could be managed, and it forms a pivotal element of the work. Stravinsky wrote in his Memoirs:



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