Name the virtuosos of 1959

February 19, 2018 by norman lebrecht


This is the jury at the Reine Elisabeth competition in 1959.

No points for recognising Menuhin (3rd left) and Oistrakh (3rd right).

But who are the others?

(right click on picture and open image in new tab to enlarge)

Comments (16)

  1. Mike says:

    Stephan Grappelli far right I think and Nathan Milstein on the right behind the 2 women?

    1. Larry says:

      It would have been great to have Grappelli as a judge!

    2. Malcolm Kottler says:

      Neither Milstein nor Grappelli was a judge.

  2. Mike_T says:

    Well I can’t enlarge the pic, but I think that’s Arthur Grumiaux peering out from behind the hat?

    1. Malcolm Kottler says:


  3. Mike says:

    The tall bald chap at the back could be Joseph Szigeti?

    1. Malcolm Kottler says:


  4. Mark D says:

    FLTR: René Benedetti, Oskar Back, Menuhin, Szigeti, Yvonne Astruc, André Gertler, Grumiaux, Elisabeth, ?, Oistrakh, Gioconda da Vito, Philip Newman

    1. James says:

      Yes, the lady with hat, veil and corsage, the only figure without a violin, is the Belgian Queen Dowager Elisabeth, patron of the competition.

  5. Malcolm Kottler says:

    The prize-winners among the competitors in 1959 were, from first to fifth place:

    1st (Bolivia) Jaime Laredo
    2nd (Soviet Union) Albert Markov
    3rd (United States) Joseph Silverstein
    4th (Soviet Union) Vladimir Malinin
    5th (Soviet Union) Boris Kouniev

    There is a Wikipedia article about the history of this competition. David Oistrakh himself won in 1937, its first year.

  6. Malcolm Kottler says:

    This website lists winner and jury members for all competitions:

    Now you have to match names to faces for the 1959 jury.

    Marcel CUVELIER [president]
    Yvonne ASTRUC
    Vladimir AVRAMOV
    Oscar BACK
    Gioconda DE VITO
    Henri GADEYNE
    André GERTLER
    Arthur GRUMIAUX
    Yehudi MENUHIN
    Philip NEWMAN
    David OISTRAKH
    Joseph SZIGETI

  7. Freddyng says:

    I see Arthur and Joe among the faces……

  8. Ilio says:

    Can’t enlarge the picture like you say with the right click. As is, it looks like a bunch of emoji heads.

    1. Malcolm Kottler says:

      Try this. It works for me and might for you too:

      Right click
      left click “save image as”

      The image is a .jpg file with this name “violinists-1959-768×610”

      You can save the .jpg to your desktop or someplace else. Once it has been saved, you should be able to enlarge the image, although you might lose some resolution in the process.

      If you are doing all this on your small smartphone screen, then it is harder to enlarge and have the entire group remain on your screen.

      1. Ilio says:

        Nope doesn’t work either.

    2. jim says:

      I use Firefox for my browser and I get the enlarged picture by right clicking on the above photo and then clicking on view image.

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