The life of the violinist, who died on 24 December 2020 aged 98, in 25 highlights


Ivry Gitlis in 2011 with friends, pianist Stephen Hough and cellist Steven Isserlis

1922 Born in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel)

1927 Receives first violin

1931 Makes Tel Aviv debut

1932 plays to Bronislaw Huberman, who sends him to study in Paris with Jules Boucherit

1934 Arrives in London to study with Carl Flesch

1939—45 Works in a munitions factory during the Second World War, and later in the entertainment unit of the British army

1946—7 FIrst London concert season

1951 Goes to New York to study with Theodore Pashkus; comes fifth in the Long—Thibaud competition, sparking audience fury

1952 Debut with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

1954 Records Berg Concerto (which wins the French Grand Prix du Disque), as well as concertos by Bartók, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky

1955 US debut and first concert tour of America

1960 during a performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto in Havana, Cuba, all four of his strings break and the bridge of his violin flies off

1963 Tours Russia

1968 Plays with John Lennon’s The Dirty Mac supergroup on a Rolling Stones TV special

1971 Bruno Maderna writes Piece for Ivry for him

1974 Plays Pavel in the German TV film Übernachtung in Tirol

1972 Starts Venice Festival in the south of France

1976 Records the Franck and Debussy sonatas with pianist Martha Argerich

1977 Plays a hypnotist in Truffaut’s film L’histoire d’Adèle H

1980 His autobiography, L’âme et la corde, is published in French

1990 Appointed UNESCO goodwill ambassador

1996 Performs at Wigmore Hall to mark the 50th anniversary of his debut there, following many years away from the London stage

1998 Plays a violin teacher in the French film Les cachetonneurs (The Freelancers)

2001 Commentates on the DVD documentary The Art of Violin with Itzhak Perlman

2003 Plays Monsieur Click in the French film Sansa

2009 Inspiration, a Dutch-made documentary about his life, is released

2012 Attends 90th birthday concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, with artists including violinists Maxim Vengerov and Janine Jansen, violist Amihai Grosz and cellist Steven Isserlis

Photo: Jose Lasheras