“He was maybe the greatest violin teacher in history.” - Robert Mann, founder of Juilliard String Quartet
Who he was
Ivan Galamian was a world-famous violin instructor who taught some of the best violinists in the world, including Itzhak Perlman, Sergiu Luca, Pinchas Zukerman, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Kyung-Wha Chung and Dorothy DeLay.
He was born in Persia but his family moved to Russia when he was young. During the Russian Revolution the Galamian family’s property was confiscated and they were arrested. He was able to get out to perform at the Bolshoi Orchestra and escaped to France, where he became a student of the famed Lucien Capet.
Upon arriving to America Galamian chose to teach instead of continuing to perform. He became an instructor at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City and the Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia. He eventually became the head of the violin department at both schools.
Wanting to create a place where his students could be immersed in playing without distractions, he and his wife founded the Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York. Galamian also published one of the great written works on how to teach the violin, “Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching.”
Galamian’s colleagues would say that “Mr. G. could take a table and teach it to play the violin.”
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