by Mike Telin
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto has been part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s repertoire since its founding in 1918. Mishel Piastro soloed in the first Cleveland Orchestra performance of the work on February 13, 1921 under the direction of Nikolai Sokoloff at the Hippodrome in New York City. Mischa Elman gave the first performance at a Subscription Concert on October 23, 1924 at Masonic Auditorium under Sokoloff — who also conducted the first Severance Hall performance on October 20, 1932 with Jascha Heifetz as soloist. Artur Rodzinski first conducted the work on March 29, 1934 with Nathan Milstein as soloist, and Erich Leinsdorf first led the concerto on January 6, 1944 with Efrem Zimbalist.
What did these soloists have in common? They were all students of the great violin pedagogue Leopold Auer, to whom Tchaikovsky originally dedicated the concerto.
Vadim Gluzman will continue the Auer legacy when he performs the work on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 pm in Severance Hall on the legendary Auer Stradivarius from 1690, the instrument for which Tchaikovsky wrote his famous concerto. The concert, under the direction of Michail Jurowski, also includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 (“The Year 1905”). The program will be repeated on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available online.