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Lillian Fuchs

Lillian Fuchs

Lillian Fuchs


Lillian Fuchs (November 18, 1901-October 5, 1995), an American violist, teacher and composer, is considered to be among the finest instrumentalists of her time. She hailed from a musically talented family: her brothers, Joseph Fuchs, a violinist, and Harry Fuchs, a cellist, performed with her on numerous commercial recordings. Her children and grandchildren continue in her footsteps. Beginning her musical studies as a pianist, she later studied violin Read more on Last.fm
Lillian Fuchs (November 18, 1901-October 5, 1995), an American violist, teacher and composer, is considered to be among the finest instrumentalists of her time. She hailed from a musically talented family: her brothers, Joseph Fuchs, a violinist, and Harry Fuchs, a cellist, performed with her on numerous commercial recordings. Her children and grandchildren continue in her footsteps. Beginning her musical studies as a pianist, she later studied violin with her father and afterwards with Franz Kneisel (former concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and first violinist of the Kneisel Quartet) at the Institute of Musical Art, now the Juilliard School. Lillian Fuchs enjoyed a distinguished teaching career at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Blue Hill Music School, which she founded with her brother Joseph.

Martha Strongin Katz, Geraldine Walther, Lawrence Dutton and Yizhak Schotten were her students. Her books of Etudes for the viola (Twelve Caprices for Viola, Fifteen Characteristic Studies for Viola, and Sixteen Fantasy Etudes) are today in standard use in universities and music schools internationally, and were much appreciated by the great Scottish violist, William Primrose. She also composed a Sonata Pastorale for solo viola. She performed many standard and non-standard pieces in the viola repertoire, including significant 20th century works. Fuchs was known for her warm, beautiful tone, expert musicianship and technical mastery.

She owned a fine instrument made by Matteo Goffriller (1659-1742) and was the life-long custodian of another lovely viola, darker in tone, by Gasparo da Salò (1540-1609). She played with a Dodd bow and used a gut 'A' string, considering it a sacrilege to use a metal 'A' string on an old Italian instrument. (Dodd bows are often shorter than other viola bows, a quality Fuchs prized for the greater control it permitted and also for its sheer practicality, since she was of diminutive stature.) Fuchs was a founding member of the Perolé Quartet in the mid-'20s, playing viola.[1] She made her New York debut on the violin in 1926, but soon switched to viola at the urging of Franz Kneisel (she was once heard to say, much to the great surprise of the auditors present, that it had never been her idea to play the viola, as she considered the instrument to be too big for her!). She collaborated often in performance with her brothers Joseph, a violinist and Harry, a cellist.

She played in a number of chamber groups, notably the Perole String Quartet and the Musicians Guild, and appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Casals Festival Orchestra. In 1947, Bohuslav Martinů composed and dedicated his 'Madrigals' for violin and viola to Lillian and Joseph Fuchs after hearing them perform the Mozart Duos at Town Hall in New York City. A renowned teacher of viola, Fuchs was also an important teacher of chamber music as well, counting among her pupils Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zuckerman and Dorothy Delay. Lillian Fuchs's influence can be seen in her two daughters, Barbara Stein Mallow, 'cellist, Carol Stein Amado (deceased), violinist, her granddaughter, Jeanne Mallow, violist, and grandson, David Amado, conductor. 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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