Joachim Stutschewsky

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Joachim-Yehoyahin Stutschewsky was born in Romni in the Ukraine, in 1891, to a family of traditional klezmers. At the age of five he began to play the fiddle. At 11 he switched to the violoncello and one year later he was engaged as a cellist by the Nikolayev orchestra and appeared also as a soloist. In 1909 he went to study at the Leipzig Conservatory where he was tutored by Julius Klengel. He completed his studies in 1912 and immediately embarked on a richly varied career: as member of chamber ensembles, as first cellist with the Orchestra of Jena and as a teacher. He lived in Zrich during World War I where he began, in addition to his work as cellist and teacher, to organize concerts of Jewish music. In 1921 Stutschewsky moved to Vienna and became one of the founders of the Vienna String Quartet headed by Rudolf Kolisch. In 1938 he emigrated to Eretz-Israel. He soon found his place on the local musical scene. In 1938, Stutchewsky initiated a new music series in Tel Aviv in which he programmed music by Israeli composers. He earned his livelihood by giving private cello lessons and by performing and lecturing all over the country. Until 1950 Stutschewsky's compositions bore the stamp of Jewish music. From then on, there appear in his musical expression more modern motifs and at the same time elements of Mediterranean melos can be traced in his melodies and harmonies. Most of his works were written for chamber ensembles in which violoncello figures prominently. However, Stutchewsky wrote also a lot of vocal music and works for orchestral bodies, large and small; concertos for various solo instruments etc. Stutschewsky's fame as a pedagogue for violoncello is world wide and is due in particular to his publications on study methods. His many arrangements for cello of music from the classical repertoire are widely used by cellists and teachers throughout the world. On his contribution to the cello literature he received the Piatigorsky Award of the International Violoncello Association, New York. Stutschewsky died 1982 in Tel Aviv. (Tzvi Avni)