Obituary: Violinist Igor Oistrakh, 90

Posted on: September 8, 2021

“Although Igor Oistrakh, who has died aged 90, was a fine violinist in his own right, he always lived in the shadow of his father, David,” writes Anne Inglis in Friday’s (9/3) Guardian (U.K.). “At the time of Igor’s birth in Odessa … the region was part of the Soviet Union: among the striking number of other soloists it produced were the violinists Mischa Elman, Isaac Stern and Nathan Milstein, and pianists Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels…. Both his parents were musicians…. Oistrakh started lessons with his father at the Moscow Conservatoire in 1949.… In 1952, Igor won the first prize in the International Wieniawski Competition in Poland, and the following year made his debut in London…. Gradually the two musicians began to work together…. Their celebrated performances of the Bach Double Concerto for two violins started in 1947, but the beginning of their many years as a duo on the international stage and in the recording studio started later, at the end of the 1950s…. In 1975, Igor formed another violin duo with his son, Valery…. In 1996 [he] was appointed professor at the Koninklijk Conservatorium [in Brussels]. With his pianist wife, Natalia Zertsalova, he recorded the complete sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven…. Natalia died in 2017, and Igor is survived by Valery.”