After showing an early interest and ability for violin playing, his family moved to Moscow, where he was able to study. At age ten he studied with violinist Abram Yampolsky and at age 12 with Jacques Thibaud. Thibaud arranged for the young student to live at his home where he was able to progress rapidly with daily lessons. Kogan went to study at the Central Music School in Moscow, then at the Moscow Conservatory (1943-48) and as a postgraduate (1948-51). At the age of 17, and while still a student, he performed throughout the USSR. While still a student, he was co-winner of the first prize at the World Youth Festival, in Prague.
In 1951 Kogan won first prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels with a dazzling performance of Paganini's first concerto that included an outstanding interpretation of the Sauret Cadenza. His official debut was in 1941, playing the Brahms Concerto with the Moscow Philharmonic in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. His international solo tours took him to Paris and London in 1955, and then South America and the USA in the following years. Kogan had a repertoire of over 18 concertos and a number of concertos by modern composers were dedicated to him. In 1952 he began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1980 Kogan was invited to teach at the Academia Chigiana in Sienna, Italy. Kogan married Elizaveta Gilels (sister of the famous pianist Emil Gilels), also a concert violinist. His son, Pavel Kogan, born in 1952, became a famous violinist and conductor. It is said that Kogan died prematurely at the age of 58 of a heart attack while travelling between Austria and Russia (in the city of Mytishchi)on a train to a concert he was to perform with his son Pavel in 1982, but it is also said that he was taken down by secret service because he wanted to go out of the USSR permanently.
He was made an Honoured Artist in 1955, a People's Artist of the USSR in 1964, and received the Lenin Prize in 1965. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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