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American Violin Pedagogue Dorothy DeLay Was Born in 1917

She is remembered as one of the most respected violin pedagogues of the 20th Century

 

Famed American violin teacher Dorothy DeLay was born on this day in Kansas in 1917.

Born into a household of musicians and educators, she commenced her violin studies at the age of 4. Initially under the tutelage of Raymond Cerf, a protégé of César Thomson, she spent a year at Oberlin Conservatory before transferring to Michigan State University, where she obtained her B.A. in 1937, aged 20. She pursued further studies at the Juilliard School, where she received instruction from Louis Persinger, Hans Letz, and Felix Salmond.

By the mid-1940s, DeLay opted to transition away from performing. In 1946, she returned to Juilliard to study under Ivan Galamian, eventually becoming his assistant in 1948. Alongside her tenure at Juilliard, she also held teaching positions at Sarah Lawrence College (1947–1987), the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music (for 30 years until 2001), the New England Conservatory, the Meadowmount School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, among others.

DeLay's students have achieved great success, securing solo careers, principal positions in leading orchestras worldwide, and winning numerous prestigious violin competitions. Her students include noted virtuosi Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Midori, Gil Shaham, Nigel Kennedy, Shlomo Mintz, Cho-Liang Lin, Akiko Suwanai, Philippe Quint, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

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