Ferdinand David (musician)
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Born in the same house in Hamburg where Felix Mendelssohn had been born the previous year, David was raised Jewish but later converted to Christianity. David was a pupil of Louis Spohr and Moritz Hauptmann from 1823 to 1824 and in 1826 became a violinist at Königstädtischen Theater in Berlin. In 1829 he was the first violinist of a string quartet in Dorpat and undertook concert tours in Riga, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. In 1835 he became concert master (Konzertmeister) at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and in 1843 professor of violin (Violinlehrer) at the Leipziger Konservatorium.
David worked closely with Mendelssohn, providing technical advice during the preparation of the latter's Violin Concerto in E minor. He was the soloist in the premiere of the work in 1845. It was performed on David's 1742 Guarneri violin, which later became the main performance violin for Jascha Heifetz. The David Guarneri violin is now in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; it is on permanent loan to Alexander Barantschik who has showcased it with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Academy Orchestra.
David also worked as editor of violin works including those of Francesco Maria Veracini, Pietro Locatelli and Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. He was editor of the complete Beethoven piano trios for C.F. Peters. He was also editor of the set of J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin in 1843.
David's own compositions number about 40. They include two symphonies, five violin concertos, an opera (Hans Wacht, 1852), a string sextet for three violins, viola and two cellos, and a number of Lieder. David also composed a Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra, published by the Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag, and a bassoon concertino.
He made an arrangement for violin and piano of Niccolò Paganini's 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, which was the version used for the world premiere integral recording of the Caprices, by Ossy Renardy and Walter Robert in 1940, the centenary of Paganini's death; this was seven years before Ruggiero Ricci made the first recording of the original solo violin version.
- Free scores by Ferdinand David at the International Music Score Library Project
- Ferdinand David on Messianic Judaism Wiki.