‘For many years, she gave all the important violin premieres’

Maria Lidka, a Hitler refugee who has died at the age of 99, was a formidable figure in British musical life, performing concertos with all the main orchestras and devoting herself to the works of young composers. When her pianist friend Margaret Kitchen died, the Telegraph wrote: ‘For many years it seemed as if Maria Lidka gave all the important violin premières, and Margaret Kitchin all the piano ones.’

A pupil of Max Rostal in Berlin, Maria followed her teacher to London in 1934. Interned in 1940 as an enemy alien, she formed a Czech Trio with Walter Süsskind (piano) and Karel Horitz (cello). She played often with Walter Goehr, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett, playing the solo role in the world premiere of his Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli.

Obituary here (auf Deutsch).

violin wood

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  • No offense, but I never heard of this woman before. There isn’t any recording available on Amazon, Youtube and in fact no other article about her except those that say exactly what’s been copied here, “it seemed as if Maria Lidka gave all the important violin premières”. It seems there is little evidence to support that claim.

    • I’m afraid comments like this only show the writers ignorance. Maria was a force to be reckoned with. Just because her playing career was a long time ago does not mean that it didn’t happen.

        • I’m afraid I’m not old enough to know everything about her, but I studied at the RCM with her. She was a formidable teacher who demanded the highest standards at all times. She was rigorously schooled in the Carl Flesch System of violin playing. It always gave me a thrill when she opened her Violin case and unleashed the 1734 Wilmotte Strad. Unfortunately I wasn’t good enough to realise my full potential with her and left her after 2 years to change to the viola, but that enabled me later to play chamber music with her which was always rewarding.

  • The Proms archive shows her doing Proms premiere of Peter Racine Fricker concerto in the 1950sand the Tippett piece mentioned.

    I’d never heard of her before and have been following the violin world for many years.

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