Efrem Zimbalist

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Efrem Zimbalist
BirthplaceRostov on Don, Russia
Known for violinist

Zimbalist, Efrem


Born Apr. 9, 1889, in Rostov-on-Don. American violinist.

Zimbalist initially studied with his father, an orchestral conductor; from 1901 to 1907 he studied with L. Auer at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He made his debut in Berlin in 1907 and subsequently gave concerts in other German cities and in London. In 1911, Zimbalist took up residence in the USA. He toured many countries and first appeared in the USSR in 1934. He became head of the violin department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1928 and served as the institute’s director from 1941 to 1968.

Zimbalist combined an academic style of playing with a high degree of artistry, verve, and an originality of interpretation. He performed a series of concerts tracing the history of the violin from early music to the works of modern composers. His compositions include the opera Landara (1956, Philadelphia), the light opera Honeydew (1920, New Haven), and the orchestral work American Rhapsody (1936; revised version 1943). Other compositions of note are a concerto (1947); Slavic Dances (1911), comprising three dances for violin and orchestra; sonatas, suites, and other pieces for violin and piano; and songs. Zimbalist wrote a course of study for the violin entitled One Hour’s Daily Exercises.


Oistrakh, D. “Efremu Tsimbalistu-75!” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1965, no. 4.


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