Legendary Violinists back to intro
Leonid Kogan Leonid Kogan

Birth: November 14, 1924 in Dnepropetrovsk

Death: December 17, 1982

Nationality:December 17, 1982

Occupation: violinist, pedagogue

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The Flying Inkpot: Leonid Kogan

Leonid Kogan: A Tribute

Kogan, Leonid (Borisovich), outstanding Russian violinist and pedagogue, father of Pavel Kogan; b. Dnepropetrovsk, Nov. 14, 1924; d. on the train at the Mytishcha railroad station, Dec. 17, 1982.

His father was a photographer who played the violin. When Kogan was 10 years old, the family moved to Moscow, where he became a pupil of Abram Yampolsky, first at the Central Music School and later at the Conservatory (1943-48); subsequently pursued postgraduate studies with him (1948-51). In 1947 he was a co-winner of the 1st prize at the World Festival of Democratic Youth in Prague; then won 1st prize in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition in Brussels in 1951. His career was instantly assured; he played in Europe to unanimous acclaim. He made an auspicious American debut playing the Brahms Violin Concerto with Monteux and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 10, 1958. In 1952 he joined the faculty of the Moscow Conservatory; was named professor in 1963 and head of the violin department in 1969. In 1965 he received the Lenin Prize. His playing exemplified the finest qualities of the Russian School: an emotionally romantic elan and melodious filigree of technical detail. In addition to the standard repertoire, in which he excelled, he also played modern violin works, particularly those by Soviet composers. He was married to Elizabeth Gilels.

Further Readings
M. Zazovsky, L. K. (Moscow, 1956).

Source: "Leonid Borisovich Kogan." BAKER'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS®, Centennial Edition. Nicolas Slonimsky, Editor Emeritus. Schirmer, 2001. Reprinted by permission of The Gale Group.

Photo: Courtesy of the New York Public Library.

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