The Slovenian violinist and pedagogue, who taught many acclaimed violinists including Patricia Kopatchinskaja, was 92 


Violinist Igor Ozim © G. Henle Verlag

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Violinist and pedagogue Igor Ozim died on 23 March at the age of 92. He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1931 to a musical family, as both his parents were pianists and his brother was also a violinist. Ozim first studied with Leon Pfeifer at the Academy of Music Ljubljana and, having received a British Council scholarship in 1949, later studied briefly at the Royal College of Music with violinist Albert Sammons. He continued his studies in London with violinist Max Rostal.

Ozim rose to prominence with wins at the 1951 International Carl Flesch Violin Competition and the 1953 ARD International Music Competition, as well as his debut at Wigmore Hall. As a soloist, he appeared with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic.

A renowned pedagogue, Ozim taught at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland, and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany. Among his students were Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Peter Tanfield, and Gwendolyn Masin. In addition to teaching masterclasses across the globe, Ozim served as a jury member for the International Violin Competition Henri Marteau and the Isang Yun Competition.

Some have turned to social media to pay tribute to the pedagogue.

‘I had the honour of learning from professor Igor Ozim and professor Wonji Kim-Ozim when I was a teenager, and I will forever treasure what they have taught me,’ wrote violinist Simon Zhu, the winner of the 57th Paganini Competition. ‘He was also one of the kindest and most generous human beings that I was lucky enough to encounter.’

‘I felt that I was in good hands with him, he was always warm and human,’ wrote Kopatchinskaja. ‘I went to him with the feeling of being given a gift, listened to him intently and tried to understand him completely and learn everything I could… The fact that he left this world on my birthday of all days is my last connection with him  I will always think of him, in good times and bad.’

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