Violinists mourn famous teacher, 83

Violinists mourn famous teacher, 83


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2020

The death of Victor Danchenko is being widely mourned.

A pupil of David Oistrakh in Moscow, he emigrated in 1977 and taught in Toronto and Baltimore, where his sister Vera joined the piano faculty. He was also a professor at Curtis and internationally at summer festivals.

His tudents include the BBC concertmaster Igor Yuzefovich, Martin Beaver of the Tokyo String Quarter, Paganini winner Soovin Kim and many members of major orchestras.

New World Symphony’s Martin Sher writes:

I’m still processing the loss of my beloved mentor and violin teacher Victor Danchenko who passed this morning. Nobody held higher standards for the art than him, and he held his students to it through a lot of tough love and sweat. He connected us to a great lineage of violin playing that was the source of tremendous pride to him – and the source of many wonderful stories told in our lessons. To feel like we were part of a history and tradition, thanks to him, is a gift that can’t be overstated.
Beyond that, I’m so glad to call many of his students good friends and colleagues. In a recent call he told me that it meant so much to him that many of us were staying in touch with each other. It means a lot to all of us too. Perhaps this was his greatest gift – the sense of community he created for us, with history and with each other.
Thank you for everything, Mr. Danchenko. To us, you put a dent in the universe. We are privileged to have shared some time with you. We love you and cherish your memory.


  • Skippy says:

    The last living links to the Greats are passing from the scene.

    But Deustche Grammophone is filling the void with artist-hotties so all will be well.

    • esfir ross says:

      My condolences to Vera Danchenko

      • Worldwide says:

        Deepest condolences to all family: Nina (wife), Natasha, (daughter) Vera Markovna, little grandson and to all his students and musical colleagues all over the world! Have a good Rest In Peace, Maestro Victor Markovic!

  • Zhang says:

    Mr. Danchenko inspired me to love the violin, until him I was playing mechanically like a trained little monkey, playing notes without feeling, and refused to
    Vibrate as it would have pleased my father who was forcing me to become a violinist. Mr. Danchenko was the first persons who taught me to love the violin, to vibrate not only from the fingers, but from the heart.
    A truly remarkable teacher and violinist.

    • a voice from the ruhr says:

      He was a wonderful teacher; exacting and inspiring, and a fantastic violinist, with his own deeply-felt voice. He was also a very intense and warm person

  • David Rohde says:

    I had the honor of meeting Victor Danchenko once, at a special concert by the Russian Chamber Art Society, founded and run by his sister Vera Danchenko-Stern. The RCAS is now a Washington institution, and the concert marked Vera’s 75th birthday (Victor was 80). Ordinarily the RCAS presents Russian art song as well as opera excerpts, but on this occasion the first half of the concert was given over to violin-piano works with Victor on the violin and Vera on the piano.

    The impact of these two siblings in Washington, Baltimore, Toronto and elsewhere is immense, and at the risk of pointing to my own work, I wrote an article at the time of this concert that chronicles – hopefully in an entertaining way – some of their story. Most of my focus in the article is on Vera as the person I know who is such an inspiring trailblazer and educator. But you should get a sense of their dual journey from the Soviet Union to Canada and then the United States:

    Note that while Vera Danchenko-Stern did begin on the piano faculty at Peabody, she moved to the voice faculty and really made her mark there. Some of the most fun I’ve had at the RCAS concert after-parties is chatting with circles of Vera’s voice students, who come from everywhere from the US Midwest to China, and hearing their stories – always told with huge smiles on their faces – about how exacting she is in teaching the Russian repertory. The stories I’m seeing about Victor Danchenko remind me very much of this.

  • Bob Schneider says:

    An outstanding artist/teacher and good human being I remember him because he was a teacher at the Cleveland Institute fo Music of our daughter Beth Ilana Schneider Gould of Duo46.May his memory always be for a blessing.

  • Sergei melnitchouk says:

    Nina myself and angela are heartbroken at the passing of victor ,you were both so kind to us and welcomed us into your circle upon our cruise onboard Oceania a few years ago .I had many a good talk with Victor over the course of that trip and I truly valued his advice.
    My love to you Nina and your family at this sad time, I would love for us to chat about that unforgettable holiday around brazil/Argentina/Chile with yourself and Victor .
    myself (sergei)and Angela have never forgotten you both,and the good times we had on board.
    Please Nina get in touch so we can pay our respects to a lovely man as Victor.

    Our love and deepest sympathies to you Nina and all your family.