Hungarian violinist, teacher and composer (b. 7 June 1845 in Veszprém, Austria-Hungary; d. 15 July 1930 in Loschwitz, Germany), born Lipót Auer; known in Russia as Leopold Semyonovich Auer (Леопольд Семенович Ауер, Leopol'd Semyonovič Auer, Leopold Semyonovich Auer).
Auer enrolled at the Budapest Conservatory at the age of eight, and later studied under Jakob Dont (1815–1888) and Joseph Joachim (1831–1907) in Hanover. In 1868 he was appointed by Anton Rubinstein as professor of violin at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he remained for almost half a century.
While in Saint Petersburg, Auer led the Russian Musical Society's string quartet (1868–1906), and conducted the society's orchestra (in 1883 and 1887–1892); Tchaikovsky originally intended to dedicate his Violin Concerto (1878) to Auer, but the violinist decided the concerto was too difficult and refused to play it. As a result of this public humiliation, the composer withdrew his dedications to Auer of both the concerto and the earlier Sérénade mélancolique (1876). Although the concerto went on to have great success, Auer did not play it until 1893, and not before making his own alterations (mainly cuts). It was in this abridged version that the concerto was played for much of the twentieth century.
In 1917 Auer left Russia, and the following year he settled in the United States, where he continued to teach and give concerts.
Tchaikovsky's works dedicated to Leopold Auer:
Tchaikovsky's correspondence with Leopold Auer:
This page was last updated on 14 February 2013