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Fritz Magg -
Teacher Fritz Magg

United States


Cellist type:

Performing fields:
solo, chamber, orchestra

Diran Alexanian
Paul Grümmer
Elizabeth Morrow
Kevin Hekmatpanah
Joan Jeanrenaud
Hannah Holman
Douglas Moore
Daniel Rothmuller

Fritz Magg, Professor Emeritus of Cello and Chamber Music at Indiana University, began his early music studies in Vienna, Austria, where he was born April 18, 1914. He received further instruction at the state academies in Cologne and Berlin under Paul Grummer; and at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris under Diran Alexanian. At 20, he became the solo cellist of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and started a distinguished career as a soloist.

In 1938 he settled in the United States and was principal cellist with the Chamber Orchestra of the New Friends of Music in New York and later with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He made recordings and worldwide tours with the Gordon String Quartet and Berkshire Quartet, and he collaborated with Benny Goodman on a classical album that was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Magg joined the faculty of the IU School of Music in 1948 when the Berkshire String Quartet became the resident quartet at IU. He taught cello and chamber music at IU for 36 years and was chair of the string department for all but two of those years before retiring in the fall of 1984. His teaching legacy is embodied in the ten-part video series, "Cello Sounds of Today."

Magg was honored in 1984 with the Chevalier du violoncelle Award by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at IU for his contributions to cello playing. He performed in every state of the union as a member of his quartets, in sonata recitals with his first wife, pianist Natasha Magg, and as a soloist with all the major U.S. symphony orchestras. He was recently chosen by the American String Teachers Association to receive the 1998 Artist Teacher Award, the organization's most prestigious recognition of excellence in teaching.

Magg's eminent colleague, cellist Janos Starker, Distinguished Professor of Music at IU, said that Magg's life had been superbly made of music. "Through his devotion and excellence," Starker said, "Fritz Magg helped make the IU School of Music the best in the world. He helped educate hundreds of cellists. They are now all over the world, playing as he instructed them, and as teachers imparting his principles to thousands. He was a teacher, a cellist, a musician, and a friend."

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This cellist was posted by Tyler Davis and last edited on 5 July 2011 at 4:16:17 AM.