Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kurt Sassmannshaus talks about Dorothy Delay:
Dorothy DeLay, 84; Taught Many Noted Violinists



Dorothy DeLay, teacher and mentor to some of the world's
most celebrated violinists, died Sunday at her home
in Upper Nyack, N.Y., after a more than yearlong battle with cancer. She was 84.

DeLay's long teaching career spanned two generations of players. Her students included violinists
Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Schlomo Mintz and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
Other pupils, such as Joseph Swenson and Peter Oundjian, went on to become conductors.
Her violinists have joined the Juilliard, Cleveland, Tokyo and Fine Arts quartets.

At the Juilliard School of Music, 

where she taught for half a century, students clutching violins would line up
for hours for the chance to study with DeLay, whose students regularly snagged top prizes at competitions,
often a first step to the high-stakes concert circuit. Parents called DeLay from all over the world,
hoping she'd listen for five minutes to their "brilliant" children and recognize them as prodigies.
They hoped lightning would strike as it did in 1986 for then-6-year-old Sarah Chang,
now one of classical music's hottest properties. 
After listening to Chang play on her one-eighth-sized violin,

DeLay agreed to take her on as a student. Young violinists trained by DeLay were noted
for a distinctive sound that has been described as lush, burnished and beautiful.

"Dorothy DeLay represented the highest level of violin teaching during the second half of the 20th century,"
said Joseph W. Polisi, Juilliard president, in a statement. "Her legacy is reflected in the thousands of violinists
who are currently performing and teaching around the world."

Born March 31, 1917, in the cattle town of Medicine Lodge, Kan., DeLay had been described as looking
more like a nice Midwestern grandmother than a groomer of concert professionals.
The stereotype of the stern, usually male European violin master was flouted by the warm, nurturing DeLay
--who, according to a 1989 story in the Los Angeles Times, often addressed her callers as "Sweetie,"
"Honey" or "Sugarplum." She was given to offering homespun advice on romance or fashion
in counterpoint to her musical instruction.
Her philosophy:
"Teach the student, not the subject."
Even when their fame outstripped hers, many of her 
students continued to call her "Miss DeLay."
DeLay's teaching career began in 1947, when she 
was a student of Ivan Galamian at Juilliard.

At that time, she began accepting invitations for part-time teaching and assistant-ships at
the Henry Street Settlement, Juilliard and Sarah Lawrence College.
The experience led her to realize that she enjoyed teaching more than performing.

The daughter of music instructors, DeLay began playing violin at age 4.
At 16, she enrolled at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, then transferred to Michigan State University
after her parents insisted that she broaden her education beyond music.

After graduating in 1937, DeLay moved to New York to enroll in the Juilliard School.
She toured Latin America as a member of Leopold Stokowski's All-American Youth Orchestra.
At the end of that tour, she met Edward Newhouse, a writer for the New Yorker, on a cross-country train journey.
They married in 1941. DeLay's concert career was interrupted by World War II,
when Newhouse was transferred to a series of Army Air Corps bases before they settled in New York.
DeLay returned to Juilliard in 1946, where she began studying with Galamian.
Dorothy Delay
Internationally renowned violin teacher who
was at this time an assistant to Ivan Galamian
David Garvey
Well known pianist, and staff
accompanist at Meadowmount
Ronald Leonard
Currently Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic,
who was serving on the faculty at Meadowmount
Josef Gingold
Chamber music coach at Meadowmount, he was
formerly Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra
Sally Thomas
Assistant to Ivan Galamian, now a
eminent teacher at Juilliard.
Paul Makanowitzky
A remarkable artist and amazing teacher
who was an assistant to Ivan Galamian
Michael Avsharian
Assistant to Ivan Galamian
By the late 1960s, however, differences in teaching philosophy began to drive a wedge between them.
In 1970, their relationship ended abruptly when Galamian demanded that Juilliard students
After the bitter split, DeLay began to gain recognition in her own right. She was the first woman to be
considered a master violin teacher in the tradition of Galamian and Leopold Auer.
Leopold Auer
DeLay remained at Juilliard for the rest of her career,
and was director of the school's Starling-DeLay Institute,
whose aim is to find and develop new artist-teachers of the violin.

She is survived by her husband; two children,
Alison Dinsmore of Boston and Jeffrey Newhouse of Bronxville, N.Y.;
and four grandchildren.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with DeLay
Dorothy DeLay's Guadagnini, Turin, 1778

Bach a minor, E major 
Haydn G Major, C Major 
Mozart #2, #3, #4, #5
Bruch g minor
Wieniawski d minor and F# minor
Vieuxtemps #2,#4 , #5
Saint-Saens #1, #3
Paganini #1

Sibelius Brahms
Prokofiev d minor, g minor

other 20th Century composers
Wohlfahrt op. 45 Book 1
Schradiek School of Violin Technique
Whistler Introducing the Positions
Flesch Scales
Wohlfahrt op.45 Book 2
Trott Melodious Double Stops
Whistler Preparing for Kreutzer Book 1
Whistler Preparing for Kreutzer Book 2
Sevcik Double Stop op.9
Kreutzer Etudes
Dont op.37
Fiorillo Etudes
Sevcik op.8 Shifting
Rode Etudes
Ševcík Book 1 Part 4 Double Stops
Dont op. 35
Paganini Caprices
Dounis , School of Violin technique
Wieniawski, L’Ecole moderne 0p.10
1. Teach the student, not the subject.
The approach has to be tuned not just to students'
accomplishments but also to their personalities.
In some cases Miss DeLay -- mystifying most other pupils -- 
has seen a trait worth developing in someone even though that person is not going
to become a professional musician. The person is paramount.

2. Expect a lot.
What you teach -- information and principles but also, and more important, habits
and disciplines of thought and practice -- will have to last a lifetime. Miss DeLay explains how, at
the start of her teaching career, she imagined a circle of exacting listeners sitting in on her classes:
Toscanini, Heifetz and others. What would they want to hear? How would they respond? From
this exercise came the rigorous program she gives her pupils to take them through their five
hours of daily practice.

3. Be positive.
 Fear is a strong incentive, but only for as long as the teacher is part of the pupil's
life. Encouragement lasts forever. (Isaac Stern suggests that Miss DeLay's characteristic
endearments -- ''Sugarplum,'' ''Sweetie'' -- covered the problem of not being able to remember so
many names when she was seeing dozens of students each week. But the cuddliness -- partly a
front, of course -- also helps pupils feel that their teacher is on their side.)

4. Ask questions.
This is where negativity comes in, but subtly. By questioning students, the

teacher invites them to think about what they are doing and why. In time, they may start to
discover their own faults and find other ways of doing things. They may come, in effect, to teach

5. Learn.
Making the lesson a dialogue has another advantage, that the student may start to teach
the teacher, at least in how to teach. Teaching is about giving but also gaining.

6. Be yourself;
or if not that, at least be someone.
Having a distinctive teacher makes the lesson
special. A lot of Miss DeLay's success may be owed to the scarf she always wears around her

7. Break down problems.
Students learn little from being told -- in however positive a way -- that
they have done something wrong. And they learn nothing from being told or shown the ''right''
way. The teacher has to analyze, has to detect just what is going amiss and why.

8. Let progress show.
Miss DeLay, like all other music teachers, marks her students' copies of their
pieces to indicate details that need attention. She then thoroughly erases those markings as the
problems get solved. Perfection is the clean copy.

9. Do not shun trickery.
Ms. Sand reports the nice story of a boy who said he could not possibly
manage the speed Miss DeLay asked for at a certain point in a piece. So she put the metronome
away and just asked him to play the passage over and over, a little bit faster each time, until, lo and
behold, he was attaining the impossible.

10. Remember what cannot be taught --
but not so as to relax your efforts.
However much they
are given good examples, encouraged and taught to question, some students will go farther than
others. Innate talent is an issue here, of course, but so is innate determination. There are parts of
students' minds that cannot be reached, though they may be released.

11. Be a team player.
Miss DeLay works with colleagues who take care of part of the instruction
process, and she recognizes the importance of parents, especially where young children are
concerned. Nothing will be achieved unless at least one parent is backing the teacher and
promoting good attitudes toward work at home.

12. Attend to everything.
Nothing is beneath the teacher. Nothing is beyond the teacher's
competence to care. Miss DeLay's pupils have the benefit of her advice in everything from
concert dress to relationships with managers.

13. It never ends.
Not only does Miss DeLay make a point of hearing her ex-pupils perform
whenever she can, but they clearly know, to judge from the evidence assembled in Ms. Sand's
book, that they have been marked by her for life.

Paul Kantor on Dorothy Delay:
Dorothy Delay studied under the famous violin teacher Ivan Galamian:
About Galamian by former students:

Galamian's Famous Book on Violin Playing:

Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching

Dorothy Delay's Practicing Mind Map
(all hours are 50 minutes on with a 10 minute break)
Basics such as left hand articulation,
shifting vibrato and right hand bow strokes
Repertoire passages, arpeggios and scales
Etudes and Paganini
Bach or solo recital repertoire

On orchestra days only hours 1, 3 and 4 are expected.

Published in Blutt Nr. 7 Luzern (2009