Early female violinists in pictures

March 7, 2014

Nettie Carpenter, a contemporary of Maud Powell, featured in the first issue of The Strad, May 1890
Moravian Vilémina Neruda (1839–1911), aka Lady Hallé, in The Strad, August 1894
Marie Soldat-Roeger (1863-1955), the first female violinist to include Brahms's Violin Concerto in her repertoire
Britain’s Isolde Menges (1893–1976) appeared in The Strad in September 1913 and December 1923
Russian-born Cecilia Hansen (1897–1989), toured widely but died forgotten in London
Ida Haendel, born 1923, has been profiled numerous times in The Strad, the first time in March 1937
Jelly d’Arányi (1893–1966), who frequently performed with her sister, violinist Adila Fachiri. No pre-war London Proms season was complete without the sisters playing the Bach ‘Double’
From Wisconsin, Guila Bustabo (1916–2002). Kreisler predicted she would become the greatest violinist of her time
England's Marie Hall (1884–1956), profiled four times in The Strad. Elgar chose her for the first recording of his Violin Concerto
The 'bewitching' Viennese fiddler Erica Morini (1904–95). She gave recitals in practically every town in America

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2014 on 8 March, The Strad revisits Tully Potter’s article from the May 2010 issue on the top female soloists from the late-19th and early-20th centuries, as seen through the pages of The Strad. 

The birth of The Strad in London in 1890 coincided with a new craze for the violin that was sweeping Britain, and this new ‘violin culture’ included the acceptance of women into training schools of music. ‘It is hard to believe in the present day that only some fifteen or twenty years ago the lady violinist, now ubiquitous, was then almost an unknown quantity,’ said one writer in The Strad, September 1897.

The Strad archive not only provides an important written document on the players of the times, male and female, many of whom have been all but forgotten; it also coincided with the dawn of modern photography. Photographic portraits in the pages of The Strad during the early years are comparatively rare by today’s standards, but the examples we have are often strikingly beautiful, and many of them are of women. 

This gallery comprises photographs of some of the early female violinists who feature in the article, Who were the early female violinists?

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