Leopold Auer

Auer made a huge impact on the development of the Russian violin culture. The high level of artistry of his students is amazing (Misha Elman and Efrem Zimbalist, and later Jasha Heifetz, Miron Poliakin, Tosha Seidel, Jury Eidlin as well as Lev Zeitlin) and so is their variety of styles. Auer was incredibly successful in developing the personalities of his students. Each musician that came from his studio was unique. His pedagogical method was based on an individual approach to every student:

“But the truth is I have no method—unless you want to call purely natural lines of development, based on natural principles, a method—and so, of course, there is no secret about my teaching. The one great point I lay stress on in teaching is never to kill the individuality of my various pupils. Each pupil has his own inborn aptitudes, his own personal qualities as regards tone and interpretation. I always have made an individual study of each pupil, and given each pupil individual treatment. And always, always I have encouraged them to develop freely in their own way as regards inspiration and ideals, so long as this was not contrary to aesthetic principles and those of my art. My idea has always been to help bring out what nature has already given, rather than to use dogma to force a student’s natural inclinations into channels I myself might prefer. And another important principle in my teaching, one which is productive of results, is to demand as much as possible of the pupil.

Leopold von Auer