The violin teacher that David Oistrakh recommended

The violin teacher that David Oistrakh recommended


norman lebrecht

April 06, 2014

In the middle of the last century, when the Moscow Conservatoire was a mecca for violin teaching in the old style, the great David Oistrakh would sometimes send his students for a second opinion to Abram Shtern – Abrasha – in Kiev. Shtern was a student of a Leopld Auer pupil, David Berthier. He was concertmaster and professor in Kiev until his family’s migration to the US in 1990, when he was 71. He continued playing expressively into his 90s, as you can hear below. Misha Keylin tells us that this inspirational teacher died on Thursday, aged 96.

Here’s a fairly recent profile in the LA Times.



  • Reminds me of one of my teachers, Mischa Mischakoff, concertmaster of Arturo Toscanini’s famed NBC orchestra, and an exponent of the teachings of Leopold Auer. Note the poise and the marvelous bow style of the Russian school of violin playing.

  • Thank you for recognizing Mr. Shtern, he was a great inspiration in my life.