Death of eminent violinist, 93

Death of eminent violinist, 93


norman lebrecht

October 25, 2019

Colleagues are reporting the death of Hansheinz Schneeberger, a Swiss violnist who gave the world premieres of Béla Bartók’s long-buried first concerto in 1958, as well as works by his compatriots Frank Martin and Klaus Huber.

Schneeberger served for several years as concertmaster of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.


  • pageturner says:

    I regret that I never heard him live, but my first encounter on disc was the 2CD set with mainly unjustly neglected (or at least under-appreciated outside of Switzerland) repertoire: see for an insightful review. Othmar Schoeck in particular is wonderfully played. RIP.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    I know his playing from the Karl Richter Brandenburg concertos (Munich) I had as a child.. HIs playing of the violin solos esp in #4 stay with me now.


  • David K. Nelson says:

    If the 2014 date of that concert performance of the Paganini is correct, then he was a most fortunate artist to be playing so fluently into his late 80s. His little smile at the end shows he was likely thinking the same thing (unless he was secretly enjoying just having played the “devil’s laughter” Caprice in a church?). And apropros another line of discussion on this site, he plays from the music — mostly with his eyes shut!

    I recommend his 1987 unaccompanied Bach set on the Jecklin label, not least for his penetrating liner note comments about the music, and in particular the thematic links to be perceived between movements in both the Partitas as well as the Sonatas, and what those links should suggest in the way of tempo and phrasing. He also recounts a telling bon mot made by Jacques Thibaud about dance music in the Partitas during the finals of Thibaud’s interpretation course, when Thibaud quizzed Schneeberger about his “traditional” ponderous tempo for a Bach Sarabande. Schneeberger practiced what Thibaud preached about finding genuine dance content – not just rhythms – in the Partitas, and he dispatches the Chaccone in 10’31”! Yes, faster than Heifetz circa 1932 or 1952, and about 5 1/2 minutes faster than Szigeti, but it is the dance-like pulse that is more striking than the speed, even though I think that is the fastest Chaconne I have on disc. And the entire set is beautifully played.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Thanks for your comment, David. As always, it is enlightening as well as anecdotal.
      I shall certainly investigate that Bach set on Jecklin.

  • LolaViola says:

    He was an inspiring teacher and great lover of music. He will be sorely missed.

  • Chris Newman says:

    The video title is wrong. This is not in E major but Bb maj

  • Manuel Pérez de Rozas [Spain] says:

    He recorded the Brandenburg Concertos with Karl Richter and the Munich Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv Production in the early 60s – a very nice recording in the traditional style.