da Haendel, "Grande Dame of the Violin," is one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, and her concert career — spanning almost seven decades — was among the longest running in music history. Starting the violin playing at the age of 3, she became a laureate of the very first Wieniawski Competition in 1935, at the age of 7.
She was one of the best pupils of the legendary pedagogue Carl Flesch (along with Szeryng, Neveu and Szymon Goldberg), who was so impressed by the child prodigy's talent that he taught her free of charge, and received further tuition from another legendary player, George Enescu. Since her debut in 1937, she delighted audiences all over the world with her vital and inspired playing and was a particular favorite of the British audiences.
Among her concerti recordings, the Beethoven, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky have been especially praised and still stand up well against the top versions. Although Ida Haendel, born to a Polish-Jew family, accepted an invitation to perform in Germany after a considerable period of hesitance, she had a long and fruitful collaboration with SDR from 1952-67. Her broadcast recordings with the then Principal conductor, Hans Müller-Kray are among the most valuable treasures in today's SWR archive. The Tchaikovsky concerto was always one of her ‘pièces de résistance', and this broadcast recording from 1960 is a great document.