PEOPLE

Ori Kam

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Jerusalem Quartet violist recalls his most inspirational teacher

Chaim Taub was a very demanding teacher, but his criticism was always constructive

My former teacher Chaim Taub – the ex-concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic – has been a real inspiration to me. I recently sat in his living room and listened to stories of his childhood in what was then Palestine. He spoke of sneaking into Palestine Philharmonic concerts to see Arturo Toscanini directing the orchestra, and of his teachers, some of that age’s greatest musicians who had fled Fascism in Europe. Later on, determined to enrol at the Juilliard School, he travelled to New York on a US military ship carrying troops home after the Second World War. He hadn’t registered or auditioned, he just showed up one day and demanded to join Ivan Galamian’s class. He was admitted and finished his studies there.

Chaim was a very demanding teacher, but his criticism was always constructive. He taught me the language of music and how to interpret it. Well into his 80s today, he is still at it in full force. I wish him many more musical years to come.

Originally published in The Strad, May 2011. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.Photo: Tim Halland

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