Quiz about Ten Great Violinists
Quiz about Ten Great Violinists

Ten Great Violinists Trivia Quiz


From the start of the nineteenth century to the present day, many great solo violinists have made their mark in the world of classical music. This quiz tests your knowledge of just ten of them.

A multiple-choice quiz by stedman. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
stedman
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
305,728
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1541
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 118 (5/10), allegria_gal (4/10), Guest 175 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. One of the most famous of all violin virtuosi was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1782. His playing was so far superior to that of his contemporaries that rumours abounded he had sold his soul to the Devil - rumours he did nothing to discourage. Who was he? Hint

Giuseppe Tartini
Louis Spohr
Niccolò Paganini
Arcangelo Corelli

2. Born in 1831, this Hungarian violinist was a close friend of the composer Brahms, and in 1879 gave the first performance of his Violin Concerto in D, op 77. In 1903, four years before his death, he made some short, but historically valuable, recordings of music by Bach and Brahms, as well as his own compositions. What was his name? Hint

Josef Suk
Eugène Ysa˙e
Joseph Joachim
Henri Vieuxtemps

3. The famous violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) is also remembered for a number of showpieces he composed as encores for himself to play. Which of the following is NOT one of his compositions? Hint

Liebeslied
Caprice no 24
Liebesfreud
Tambourin Chinois

4. The violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987) gave the world premieres of violin concertos by a number of twentieth-century composers. Which of the following did NOT compose a violin concerto premiered by Heifetz? Hint

Erich Korngold
Louis Gruenberg
Jean Sibelius
William Walton

5. Which great Russian violinist was a close personal friend of the composer Shostakovich, and gave the first performances of both of his violin concertos? Hint

Leonid Kogan
David Oistrakh
Gidon Kramer
Maxim Vengerov

6. In 1932, this violinist, while still only 16, made a famous recording of Elgar's "Violin Concerto in B Minor" conducted by the composer. In later life, he founded the music school in Surrey, England, that bears his name. Who is he? Hint

Ruggiero Ricci
Gidon Kremer
Nathan Milstein
Yehudi Menuhin

7. The violinist Isaac Stern, born in 1920, played a key role in preventing the demolition of which New York landmark? Hint

Metropolitan Opera House
Carnegie Hall
Empire State Building
Brooklyn Bridge

8. Why was 10-year old Ida Haendel almost prevented from making her London debut in 1937, playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto at the Queen's Hall under the direction of Sir Henry Wood? Hint

The concert was due to finish at 10.30 pm, which was past her bedtime
Sir Henry at first refused to perform with such a young musician
She had recently been ill with measles
Local bylaws prevented children under 14 from performing on Sundays

9. What action by the violinist Nigel Kennedy prompted the Controller of BBC Radio 3, Sir John Drummond, to accuse him of behaving like a "Liberace for the Nineties"? Hint

Setting fire to his violin on stage
Cancelling a rehearsal to watch a football match
Throwing his underwear into the audience
Performing the Berg violin concerto dressed as Dracula

10. The German-born violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter was married to which distinguished conductor, composer and pianist between 2002 and 2006? Hint

Vladimir Ashkenazy
Simon Rattle
André Previn
Claudio Abbado


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. One of the most famous of all violin virtuosi was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1782. His playing was so far superior to that of his contemporaries that rumours abounded he had sold his soul to the Devil - rumours he did nothing to discourage. Who was he?

Answer: Niccolò Paganini

In his day, Paganini was idolised much as popular musicians are today. Also like them, his often unconventional behaviour and lifestyle did much to enhance his fame and popularity. He died in 1840 of throat cancer, although illness had forced him to give up performing some years previously.
2. Born in 1831, this Hungarian violinist was a close friend of the composer Brahms, and in 1879 gave the first performance of his Violin Concerto in D, op 77. In 1903, four years before his death, he made some short, but historically valuable, recordings of music by Bach and Brahms, as well as his own compositions. What was his name?

Answer: Joseph Joachim

Joachim was probably the most famous and influential violinist of his time. Other composers, including Schumann, Bruch and Dvorak, wrote concertos for him (although he never performed those of Schumann or Dvorak), and he played a key role in the revival of Beethoven's Concerto in D, op 61.
3. The famous violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) is also remembered for a number of showpieces he composed as encores for himself to play. Which of the following is NOT one of his compositions?

Answer: Caprice no 24

The "Caprice" no 24 is, of course, by Paganini. "Liebeslied" (Love's Sorrow) and "Liebesfreud" (Love's Joy) are also well known in transcriptions for piano by Rachmaninov. Kreisler also wrote many pieces that were pastiches of other earlier composers, such as Vivaldi, Couperin and Tartini, which he originally claimed were their own, unknown, works. Only in 1935 did he reveal that he was in fact the composer as well as performer.
4. The violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987) gave the world premieres of violin concertos by a number of twentieth-century composers. Which of the following did NOT compose a violin concerto premiered by Heifetz?

Answer: Jean Sibelius

The Sibelius Concerto was premiered by the little-known violinist Viktor Novacek, although Heifetz did make the first commercial recording of the revised version (still regarded as one of the best recordings of the work). Of the concertos premiered by Heifetz, that of Walton is generally recognised as the finest.
5. Which great Russian violinist was a close personal friend of the composer Shostakovich, and gave the first performances of both of his violin concertos?

Answer: David Oistrakh

David Oistrakh, who was born in 1908, died of a heart attack in 1974, a year before his friend Shostakovich. Other Russian composers who dedicated works to him included Miaskovsky, Khachaturian and Prokofiev (his two violin sonatas). His son, Igor, also became a noted violin soloist.
6. In 1932, this violinist, while still only 16, made a famous recording of Elgar's "Violin Concerto in B Minor" conducted by the composer. In later life, he founded the music school in Surrey, England, that bears his name. Who is he?

Answer: Yehudi Menuhin

Menuhin began learning the violin in 1919 when he was only three years old, and gave his first performance as a soloist at the age of seven. Born in New York, he became a British citizen in 1985 and was honoured with a life peerage in 1993. He died in 1999 aged 82.
7. The violinist Isaac Stern, born in 1920, played a key role in preventing the demolition of which New York landmark?

Answer: Carnegie Hall

Stern gave his first performance in Carnegie Hall in 1943. It was due for demolition in 1960, but Stern galvanized a successful campaign to save it that was supported by both musicians and the music-loving public. He was made president of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, which runs the hall, and in 1997 the main concert hall was named the Isaac Stern Auditorium in honour of his efforts.

He died in 2001, aged 81.
8. Why was 10-year old Ida Haendel almost prevented from making her London debut in 1937, playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto at the Queen's Hall under the direction of Sir Henry Wood?

Answer: Local bylaws prevented children under 14 from performing on Sundays

To get around the problem, her father claimed she was born in 1924 (rather than 1928), and had just turned 14. Some sources still quote her birth year as 1924 (or even 1923); to an extent that she now routinely takes copies of her birth certificate to interviews.

The incomparable Ida Haendel's performing career has been one of the longest of any great violinist - in 2007, a mere 70 years after her debut there, she performed in London again, this time at the Wigmore Hall with young musicians of the Razumovsky Academy.
9. What action by the violinist Nigel Kennedy prompted the Controller of BBC Radio 3, Sir John Drummond, to accuse him of behaving like a "Liberace for the Nineties"?

Answer: Performing the Berg violin concerto dressed as Dracula

This memorable appearance took place in 1991 during the BBC Symphony Orchestra's 60th anniversary concert, and rather took the spotlight off the orchestra - which is probably what annoyed Drummond as much as anything else. It wasn't until 2008 that Kennedy appeared again at the BBC's Proms Concerts, and even then it was with the rather less prestigious BBC Concert Orchestra. Kennedy's unconventional personal style is balanced by an extraordinary musicianship that enables most critics and audiences to forgive (or at least put up with) his embarrassing behaviour for the sake of the music.
10. The German-born violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter was married to which distinguished conductor, composer and pianist between 2002 and 2006?

Answer: André Previn

While Anne-Sophie Mutter's early career may have been helped by her photogenic appearance and habit of performing in strapless dresses, the real quality of her playing has ensured lasting critical as well as popular acclaim. Previn, whose fifth wife Mutter was, wrote a violin concerto for her, which they recorded.
Source: Author stedman

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ertrum before going online.
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This quiz is part of series Stedman's Classical Music Quizzes (1):

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