Heart of the Matter - A Tribute to Dorothy DeLay

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Dorothy DeLay brought compassion, humour and rigorous practice to her lessons during five decades that saw her teach two generations of string players. One hundred years after DeLay was born, Laurie Niles talks to Itzhak Perlman and other former students and assistants about her singular teaching style

During the last few years before Dorothy DeLay’s death in 2002, her most famous pupil, Itzhak Perlman, often came to teach with her at her studio at the Juilliard School in New York City.

‘We would sit in the same room and a student would come in; I would tell them what I thought and she would listen in,’ says Perlman. ‘What she was doing was just letting me teach. It was very exciting. She thought teaching was very important for me. I say the same things to my students: if you teach others, you teach yourself. I suppose Miss DeLay believed in that as well.’

As the new millennium dawned…

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