Josef Gingold


Honorary Degree (1983)
Doctor of Music
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John William Ryan
Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award (1971)
Indiana University Bloomington
Jacob's School of Music


Truly a citizen of the world, Josef Gingold was born in Russia and emigrated to the United States in 1920. A violin presented to him when he was three years old sparked his devotion to music at that tender age. He studied with Vladimir Graffman and made his New York debut in 1926, then returned to Europe for two years to study with the famed violinist Eugene Ysaye, and made forty concert appearances.

Professor Gingold spent seven years, from 1937 to 1944, as a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Arturo Toscanini. He was concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony from 1944 to 1947 and spent the next thirteen years as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell. In 1960, he accepted an appointment at Indiana University as Professor of Violin in the School of Music. Continuing an enviable blend of performance, recording, and teaching, Professor Gingold has influenced the lives of hundreds of young musicians with his artistry, his teaching talents, his understanding, and his warm, genial personality.

In addition to his classes and coaching at Indiana University, Professor Gingold led the Chamber Music Department at Meadowmount School of Music, New York, for twenty-five summers. He has conducted master classes at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris and at the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, and has represented his adopted country on the juries of many international violin competitions, including the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, the Paganini Competition in Genoa, and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 1982, Professor Gingold lent his commanding prestige as honorary chairman and president of the jury to the First International Violin Competition in Indianapolis.

Along with his performances, recordings, and demanding schedule of teaching, Professor Gingold has edited and compiled many violin studies, including a three-volume collection of orchestral excerpts for the violin, a significant work used by students and symphony players throughout the world.

Many awards and honors have come to Professor Gingold throughout his distinguished career. He holds honorary membership in Phi Mu Alpha and Pi Kappa Lambda. The title Distinguished Professor was bestowed upon him by the Faculty and Trustees of Indiana University in 1965. The American String Teachers Association recognized him as Teacher of the Year in 1968. In 1971, he was selected at Indiana University as recipient of the Frederic Bachman Lieber Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 1976 he received the honorary degree Doctor of Music from Baldwin-Wallace College. In 1980 he became Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at Indiana University.

More than a leader, more than a scholar, more than an exceptionally gifted artist, Professor Gingold, a virtuosic genius, has used his immense talent together with rare humanity to enrich the lives of a worldwide audience with the music of the ages.