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Violinist Ida Haendel was Born in 1928

A student of Carl Flesch and George Enescu, she was one of the preeminent virtuosi violinists of the 20th Century


A recognized child prodigy, Polish-British-Canadian violinist Ida Haendel competed against virtuosos David Oistrakh and Ginette Neveu. She was awarded 7th prize in the 1935 Wieniawski International Violin Competition, aged just 7.

With a career that spanned over seven decades, her lifelong association with the BBC Proms led her to 68 appearances there. After performing the Sibelius Concerto in Helsinki in 1949, Sibelius wrote to her, "You played it masterfully in every respect. I congratulate myself that my concerto has found an interpreter of your rare standard." The Sibelius Society awarded her the Sibelius Medal in 1982.

Having an affinity for German music, she was also passionate about music of the 20th century, including Béla Bartók, Benjamin Britten, and William Walton. She premiered Luigi Dallapiccola’s Tartiniana Seconda, Allan Petterson’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and her teacher George Enescu’s Violin Sonata with Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Haendel performed on a 1699 Stradivarius violin. Her recording career brought her much accolade through labels such as Decca, EMI, and Harmonia Mundi.

As a teacher, she has nurtured and inspired violin superstars Anne-Sophie Mutter, David Garrett, and Maxim Vengerov.

Queen Elizabeth II appointed Haendel Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1991. Haendel also received honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Music in London and McGill University.

She passed away in July of 2020.



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