The musician and tutor was a favourite of George Szell and William Steinberg
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The German violinist and pedagogue Edith Peinemann died on 24 February at the age of 85. A sought-after soloist in the 1950s and 60s, she made few recordings and focused on teaching in her later career. In 2005 she was named president of the European String Teachers Association.
Peinemann was born in 1937 in Mainz, the daughter of violinist and pianist Robert Peinemann, concertmaster of the local theatre orchestra. Her father taught her the violin until she was 14 when she moved to London to study with Max Rostal at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She took the first prize at the 1956 International ARD Music Competition aged 19, at which conductor William Steinberg invited her to make her US debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, with which she performed in 1962. After she performed the Dvořák Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra the same year, conductor George Szell invited her to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic among others.
Among the works Peinemann championed were the violin concertos of Berg, Reger and Hans Pfitzner, as well as Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto. She toured South Africa five times between 1964 and 1978, and made guest appearances in South America, Japan and Australia as well as at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. From 1960 she also performed chamber music with pianist Jörg Demus.
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As a teacher, Peinemann taught at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts from 1978 onwards. Her students included Yaakov Rubinstein, Veronica Kröner and Harriet Cohen. In later years she gave masterclasses at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, the Kusatsu Festival in Japan and the Lucerne Conservatoire.
Peinemann played a number of fine instruments during her career, most notably a 1732 Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ which she acquired in 1965, initially as a loan.
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