We have been informed of the death, last night from cancer, of the formidable violinist Lydia Mordkovitch, at the age of 70.
A student of David Oistrakh and later his assistant, Lydia lived in Israel in the 1970s. In 1980 she moved to England, where she recorded vast amounts of violin music – much of it by UK composers – on the Chandos label.Many regard her account of the Shostakovich concertos as second only to her teacher’s. As a concert artist she suffered from poor dress sense and a fidgety stage presence. She never achieved the eminence that her playing deserved.
In 1995, Lydia was appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music, where her teaching was highly prized.
We shared a mutual friend and I attended quite a few of her performances. Lydia was always matter-of-fact about her artistry, nothing showy, the music came first. She will be widely missed.