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David Oistrakh

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David Fyodorovich Oistrakh (Ukrainian:Дави́д Фе́дорович (Фі́шелевич) О́йстрах; Russian: Давид Фёдорович Ойстрах; September 30 [O.S. September 17] 1908 – October 24, 1974) was a ukrainian violinist of the Soviet period, who made many recordings and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works.

His recordings and performances of Shostakovich’s concerti are particularly well known, but he was also a performer of classical concerti. He worked with orchestras in Soviet Union, and also with musicians in Europe and the United States. Oistrakh’s recording of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich is also well known, and the violin concerto of Aram Khachaturian is dedicated to him, as are the two violin concerti by Dmitri Shostakovich.

He was born in Odessa, southern Ukraine, as David Kolker, and later took the name of his stepfather, an amateur violinist himself who also owned a basement shop in the town. Oistrakh’s mother, Isabella Stepanovskaya, was also a musician singing at the state Opera House where she often took her young son to hear the orchestra. At the age of five, young David began studying violin and viola seriously with the local teacher Piotr Stolyarsky, Oistrakh’s first and only teacher. Stolyarsky also taught Nathan Milstein, with whom Oistrakh was to share his first concert appearance in 1914, when Milstein graduated from the Conservatoire. Having made his debut in Odessa at the age of 6, Oistrakh entered the Odessa Conservatory in 1923 where he studied until 1926 - here he played the Bach A minor Concerto.

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