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(Photo courtesy: Leonid Kogan International Competition)

ON THIS DAY | Violinist Leonid Kogan was Born in 1924

Considered one of the twentieth century's greatest virtuoso violinists, he was representative of the Soviet School of violin playing


At the age of 16, Kogan made his concerto debut with the Moscow Philharmonic in Moscow under Karl Eliasberg, playing the Brahms Violin Concerto. Kogan was co-winner of the First prize at the World Youth Festival in Prague.


(Photo courtesy: Leonid Kogan International Competition)


He gained international recognition in 1951 when he won first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. The following year, Kogan began his teaching position at the Moscow Conservatory, where he also formed a trio with pianist Emil Gilels and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

Although his career was somewhat overshadowed by David Oistrakh, who was promoted by the Soviet authorities, Kogan received numerous honors — including being made an Honoured Artist in 1955, People's Artist of the USSR in 1964, and the Lenin Prize in 1965.


(Photo courtesy: Leonid Kogan International Competition)


For much of his performance career, he concertized on the 1733 ‘ex-Burmester’ Guarneri del Gesu. Kogan also owned the 1726 ex-Colin Guarneri del Gesù violin, as well as a French bow by Dominique Peccatte. These instruments were provided on loan from the Soviet government and today are worth more than USD $4 million. 

He passed away in 1982, from a heart attack at just age 58.


(Photo courtesy: Leonid Kogan International Competition)






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