A celebrated American violinist dies, aged 53

The virtuoso Ida Levin, who played a concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at ten years old and at the White House when she was 18, has died of leukaemia at the age of 53.

At the White House, she was partnered by Rudolf Serkin, 60 years her senior.

A former faculty member at Harvard, Ida taught in recent years at Sandor Vegh’s international academy in Prague.


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  • This is VERY sad. I heard her twice. Once in a performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto and later at a chamber music concert in a terrific performance of the Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet by Chausson.

    • John Niles – I’m not familiar with Ida Levin, but am sorry for her early demise. I’m sure she will be missed.

      You probably don’t remember me, but I was on the American Symphony Orchestra League staff when you were in Richard Lert’s bevy of conductors at Orkney Springs, Virginia, around 1964. Your father came to visit you and us and I talked with him and saw him standing on his head in Helen Thompson’s office! Since that time, I have been in orchestra management with the Dallas Symphony, the League itself, the Florida Symphony and the Portland (Maine) Symphony. It looks like you have enjoyed many good situations and are doing well in the conducting world. Best wishes to you and your family. Russ Burleigh (retired), Scarborough, Maine

  • So sad. A wonderful violinist, an insightful musician, and one of the dearest and sweetest persons imaginable. (She also had a delightfully wicked sense of humor!) My condolences to her family and the many friends and colleagues who loved her.

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