Vienna hires spotless Finnish violin prof

Elina Vähälä, has been appointed Professor of Violin at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She will start in October 2019.

She said: ‘Vienna is the centre for classical music, the greatest geniuses of the history of music have lived and left lasting legacies. It is hugely inspiring to be able to work in such environment and in an institute of such high reputation. To me it’s personally important, that the University went out of their way to appoint a performing artist with an active international career.’

It’s a cool appointment, a breach with Viennese nepotism.


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  • Ramon Vargas and Krassimira Stoyanova will also be joining the faculty of the Department of Singing of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

    Welcome hires all around.

  • Finland is a very underrated ‘violin country’,the country which gave us one of the greatest violin geniuses ever–Heimo Haitto,the nordic Ivry Gitlis.
    We can wish Elina nothing less than the very best.

  • Makes sense. At least in terms of conductors and composers, Helsinki is now the center of the classical music world, not Vienna….

  • These modern pieces are played a couple of times and then disappear. There must be at least fifty violin concertos written between 1920 and the present time which are virtually non existent when it comes to performances. The Brahms, Bach, Barber, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Wieniawski, Elgar, Saint Saens, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Paganini, and one or two others – those are the concertos we hear over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and….. As Oscar Wilde said, if it’s not worth listening to twice, it’s not worth listening to once.

      • There are easily 50- three by John Adams alone-some are mainstays, Shostakovich, Bartok, Prokofiev,Korngold, Barber, Berg, Ligeti, Britten, Stravinsky, Schoenberg,Walton,Elgar-others less known but recorded and performed-Zimmerman, Penderecki, Glass, Rochberg, Martinu, Schnittke, Gubaidulina, William Schuman, Hindemith, Widmann, Tuur, van de Aar, Chin, Piston, Rorem, Currier, Szymanowski, Ades, Birtwistle, Salonen, Holliger-….. the list goes on

    • I think a few others belong on your long list of existing or aspiring warhorses. Bartok springs to mind, as do Szymanowsky, Korngold and Khatchaturian. All of these now regularly turn up in violin competitions.

  • “a breach with Viennese nepotism.”

    Nepotism aside, international appointments at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts are nothing new.

  • Viennese nepotism? At MDW (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien)? Based on my own experience, I cannot agree this time, NL.

  • Afew others from my violin concerto playlist-Michael Hersch, Say, Kernis, Rouse, Sallinen, Turnage. Dalbavie and Eotvos-sorry for misspelling Van de Aa.

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