Obituary: violin prodigy Ruggiero Ricci, 94

Posted on: August 7, 2012

A report Monday (8/6) on The Strad website states, “Violin virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci has died at the age of 94, of heart failure, according to his son Gian-Franco Ricci. He was a towering figure in the string world, a former child prodigy known for his technical brilliance and range of colour, which combined in definitive performances of Paganini. His repertoire was diverse, though, and he performed several premieres. He was also a keen pedagogue who held positions at Indiana University, Juilliard and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and regularly wrote about violin technique. Ricci was born in San Francisco in 1918 … In 1932, during his first European tour, Ricci made his debut performance in London with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, after which The Strad said of him: ‘He possesses wonderful technical ability, irrespective of age, and what is probably of more importance, powers of interpretation which save him from becoming just an extremely efficient music robot.’ During the Second World War, as part of his service for the Army Air Force, Ricci played for the troops, which led him to develop his solo repertoire as well as the Paganini with which he became so identified.”

Posted August 7, 2012