Death of noted quartet leader, 76

Death of noted quartet leader, 76


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2020

The outstanding Ukrainian-born violinist Nicolas Chumachenco died today of cancer.

He was leader of the Zurich Quartet, professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and music director of the Queen Sofía Chamber Orchestra in Madrid.



  • David K. Nelson says:

    I’m sad to hear of this. He was also a fine soloist and I reviewed several of his recordings for Fanfare, including unaccompanied Bach and sonatas by Grieg and Schumann. His sister Ana is also an excellent violinist.

    • Maria Held says:

      His sister Ana Chumachenco is one of the most important violin professors. She’s also often a jury member in violin competitions. Her students include soloists like Julia Fischer or Arabella Steinbacher.

  • Karl says:

    Nicolas Chumachenko, whom we called Chumi, was my teacher at Konservarorium Zürich in 1980 to 1983. He admitted me to his class even though my main interest was in mathematics, which I studied at nearby ETH. A demanding but gentle teacher. He once joined me busking on Bahnhofstraße, where we played violin Duos by Chales de Bériot. drawing a generous crowd. Afterwards he spent his part of the income on a taxi to Luzern. He was a generous person and superb violinist. May he rest in peace.

  • Maria Held says:

    My father-in-law was not 74, but 76 years old.

  • Maria Held says:

    He died after a long battle with cancer.

  • Maria Held says:

    Nicolas Chumachenco was the son of Russian parents living in the Ukraine. He was born in 1944 in Kraków, Poland, during the family’s flight from Stalin. He grew up in Argentina.