Louis Persinger

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Louis Persinger's portrait (before 1928)

Louis Persinger (11 February 1887, Rochester, Illinois – 31 December 1966, New York, New York) was an American violinist, pianist and professor of violin. Persinger had early lessons in Colorado, appearing in public by the age of 12. His main studies were at the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied violin with Hans Becker, piano with Carl Beving, conducting with Arthur Nikisch before finishing with Eugène Ysaÿe in Brussels and then studying with Jacques Thibaud in France for two summers. Arthur Nikisch described him as ‘one of the most talented pupils the Leipzig Conservatory ever had’.[1]

He served as leader of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and the Royal Opera Orchestra in Brussels before being appointed leader and assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1915 and succeeding Leopold Auer at the Juilliard School in New York in 1930.

He was best known as the teacher of great violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Ruggiero Ricci, Isaac Stern, Stephan Hero, Camilla Wicks, Almita Vamos, Fredell Lack, Guila Bustabo, Arnold Eidus, Donald Erickson, Zvi Zeitlin, Leonard Posner, Enrique Danowicz and Louise Behrend. He was also Ricci's piano accompanist for many recitals and recordings, and Menuhin's for his first few recordings.


Arthur Nikisch described him as ‘one of the most talented pupils the Leipzig Conservatory ever had’.[2]

Louis Persinger played on several superb instruments throughout his illustrious career including the Lipinski Stradivarius circa 1715, Domenico Montagnana and Nicolas Lupot.

— Gennady Filimonov, 2014


  1. ^ Grove's Dictionary
  2. ^ Grove's Dictionary
  • Grove's Dictionary
  • Hart, Margaret C. "Louis Persinger - A Tribute on his 75th." Juilliard Review (Winter 1961-62), p. 4-8.
  • The Art of Violin Playing, Daniel Melsa, Foulsham & Co. Ltd.
  • The Book of the Violin, edited by Dominic Gill (1984), Phaidon Press. ISBN 0-7148-2286-8
  • An Encyclopedia of the Violin, by Alberto Bachmann (1965/1990), Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80004-7
  • The Great Violinists, by Margaret Campbell (1980/2004), Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-623-0
  • Paganini-The Genoese, by G.I.C. de Courcy (1957), University of Oklahoma Press
  • Stuff Smith-Pure at Heart, edited by Anthony Barnett & Eva Løgager (1991), Allardyce Barnett Publishers. ISBN 0-907954-15-4
  • Szigeti on the Violin, by Joseph Szigeti (1969/1979), Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-23763-X
  • Tartini-His Life and Times, by Prof. Dr. Lev Ginsburg (1968), Paganiniana Publications Inc. ISBN 0-87666-590-3
  • Unfinished Journey, Yehudi Menuhin (1976), Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 0-354-04146-0
  • The Violin, by Yehudi Menuhin (1996), Flammarion. ISBN 2-08-013623-2
  • The Violin and I, by Kato Havas (1968/1975), Bosworth & Co. Ltd.
  • Violins & Violinists, by Franz Farga (1950), Rockliff Publishing Corporation Ltd.
  • Ysaÿe, by Prof. Dr. Lev Ginsburg (1980), Paganiniana Publications Inc. ISBN 0-87666-620-9