Death of noted quartet leader, 76

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.


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  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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