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biography Aida Stucki

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Dankesbezeugung

autobiographic testify of thanks from O. Schoeckto the solist Aida Stucki after performance of his violine-conceert in theabonnement concert of Winterthur (snipped 8 ), February 16th, 1949

Aida Stucki

„And now plays a great violinist, namely Aida Stucki“ -

 

The famous conductor Hermann Scherchen, who was then the head of the Radio Orchestra in Zurich, insisted on this particular announcement during the radio broadcast transmission of the Beethoven's Violin Concerto, on 1949, December 30th.  

"You will speak about the young violinist Aida Stucki, which playing struck me right away on the radio yesterday and for which  I have shed hot tears," wrote the exceptional pianist Clara Haskil beginning of 1940.  

Aida Stucki, better known under her married name Piraccini, was well gifted to the same degree as soloist, chamber musician and one of the most recognized and successful violin teacher in Europe.

In 1948, Aida Stucki started her teaching activities in Winterthur, Switzerland.

In 1992, a dedicated master class was particularly set up for the 71-year-old violinist, which didn’t happen before at the Conservatory Winterthur. Result of a successful teaching of 47 years in total.

Aida Stucki was born in Cairo on February 19, 1921 as the third child of four daughters.

Her father, a Winterthur-based entrepreneur had established his business in Cairo, and her mother was Italian and had a wonderful voice.

After returning to school in Winterthur, Aida urgently requested violin lessons from Ernst Wolters, the concert master and conductor of the Winterthur City Orchestra.

After a period of three years, the precocious young violinist performed the Mozart violin concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216 with the Winterthur City Orchestra under the baton of Ernst Wolters, for which he specially wrote a cadenza.

 
  

Aida subsequently studied with the famous Hungarian violinist Stefi Geyer (1888-1956) in Zurich. Both regularly performed the concerto for two violins in D minor (BWV 1043) by Bach

Stefi Geyer also granted Aida the 'performance rights' of Othmar Schoeck’s violin concerto, which was once entrusted to Geyer for the world première. This concerto became a major piece in Aida’s repertoire.

It was also Stefi Geyer who introduced Aida to Bela Bartok, in Zurich, where he lived in exile at this time. Aida later played all of his string quartets and advised her pupils in Bartok’s entire composed work for violin.

With the assistance of Prof. Carl Flesch, Aida completed her artistic personality in Lucerne and acquired the competence and knowledge for her own successful solo and teaching career.


Aida Stucki: int. competition in Geneva 1940
As a prize winner of the Geneva Competition in 1940, new opportunities were provided for various concerts with well know Conductors in Europe (V. Andreae, P. Colombo, V. Desarzens, W. Fortner, E. Inbal, A. Jordan, H. Scherchen, J. Keilberth, PvKempen, H. Münch, O. Nussio, H. G. Petrassi Rosbaud, M. Rossi, H. Scherchen, E. Schmid, C. Zecchi) – mentioning just a few names. Aida Stucki's repertoire included all the major concerts from baroque to modern times, the entire literature for violin and piano and a large part of chamber music in all kinds of groups and formations.

Aida Stuckiwith husband Giuseppe Piraccini
Aida notably worked with the pianist Clara Haskil in the period from 1945 till 1950. Both performed works, that Clara Haskil otherwise never played with other musicians: Trio Sonatas by Handel (along with Giuseppe Piraccini), works by Franz Schubert, and violin sonatas by Brahms and Schumann and a non-published early written sonatine by the gifted Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti, which Haskil highly admired.
Other piano accompanists were Adrian Aeschbacher, Elly Ney (Schumann cycle in Zurich and Tutzing), Walter Frey, the accompanist of Prof. Carl Flesch, with whom she often performed the sonata cycles by Bach and Brahms, Christoph Lieske, a professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Both performed the entire sonata repertoire by Mozart and Beethoven. Aida formed a well known duo with the spirited Italian born pianist Pina Pozzi (1914-1966), who was a colleague in Winterthur. With this duo both performed frequently in Europe and the USA with a large repertoire.
    
left: A. Stucki together with P. Pozzi, middle: A. Stucki with W. Frey, right: C. Lieske
In 1959, Aida founded the Piraccini-Stucki String Quartet with her husband, Giuseppe Piraccini, first concert master in Zurich, Hermann Friedrich, initial violist, his successor Gerhard Wieser, violist and Walter Haefeli, cellist. They all acquired soon an international reputation. Both violinists often changed between first and second violin, which was unusually at that time and provided different sound productions. The Piraccini-Stucki. String Quartet premiered contemporary works and helped many Swiss composers to achieve a breakthrough.
      
left and right: Piraccini-Stucki-Quartett; the Piraccini-Stucki-Quartett is playing on instruments of A.Stradivarius;
middle: program for this quartett on instruments of A. Stradivarus
   

Aida Stucki has been awarded several times:

  • 1973 Foundation “pro Arte” Bern (Federal House)
  • 1975 Art Prize “Carl Heinrich Ernst Art Foundation” (Winterthur)
  • 1992 Art Award “Dr.K.und H.Hintermeister-Gyger Foundation (Zollikon)

Both broken wrists caused by a severe fall in her newly acquired house in Winterthur in 1983 terminated Aida’s violin playing abruptly. However her art remains available, on the one hand through her former pupils, on the other hand through her recordings, which will be released in the upcoming months.  


Aida Stucki with Anne-Sophie Mutter 1979 Salzburg
(photo: private)

Her most famous pupil is the world-famous violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, which began to study with Aida at the age of nine years and still keeps a close friendship to her teacher.


Many of her pupils play as string quartet members, as concertmasters of great orchestras, as members of the Berlin Philharmonic and as soloists.

21 students graduated as soloists in her master class called “Stucki Piraccini” at the Zurich University of the Arts:

Roberto Baraldi
Francesco Borali
Josiane Clematide
Roman Conrad
Rahel Cunz
Matthias Enderle
Susanne Frank
Stephan Hänggeli
Katharina Kobelt-Gubler
Gabriele Künzler
Jens Lohmann
Vera Novakowa
Manrico Padovani
Walter Probst
Bettina Sartorius
Noemi Schindler
Christoph Streuli
Mirjam Tschopp
Sibylle Tschopp
Markus Wieser
Rainer Wolters

Also Ursula Bagdasarjanz studied with Aida Stucki.

There have been a lot of questions about Aida Stucki’s violin teaching approach.

   



portrait Aida Stucki and Anne-Sophie Mutter
(by coutesy of Atelier Beat Pfändler,
Swiss Guest Book 2007)

 

Anne-Sophie Mutter stated recently about Aida:
"In every respect a point of reference, an incomparable violinist, a noble human being and a marvellous woman."
As a teacher, what distinguishes Aida Stucki are her great empathy and her intuitive knowledge of the giftedness of her pupils. Each pupil was thus given the best-possible, personal encouragement. In us pupils she was quick to instil humility towards the work and stimulate our never-ending search for the ideal interpretation. Aida Stucki is crucial artistic advisory board member of the "Friends of Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation" based in Munich. Among her tasks is the evaluation of potential candidates and recommendations to the foundation committee. Aida Stucki concentrated mainly on concerts in Switzerland due to family and educational commitments and couldn’t pursue interesting opportunities with Sir Georg Solti (international recitals), Hermann Scherchen or an invitation to perform in Israel in 1975.

Anne-Sophie Mutter stated in the booklet about her Beethoven sonata recordings: "In the history of the gramophone record and of female instrumentalists, women's equality has only been achieved in my generation. Although there is no lack of wonderful female instrumentalists in the history of music, they are certainly poorly represented in the history of the record. Significantly, my first memory of the Beethoven sonatas is associated with a FEMALE PERFORMER, my teacher Aida Stucki. She played the entire cycle of sonatas for piano and violin, which was very rare for a woman of her time." The foundation between her and Aida Stucki, felt A.S.Mutter already after the first semester: "I still remember as if it were yesterday my first summer holiday as a pupil of Aida Stucki's master class. I wasn't looking forward to it because I knew that I would now be deprived for weeks of the exchange of views with my wonderful teacher and of the human warmth that enveloped me during each lesson. My joyful anticipation of the autumn semester, on the other hand, was simply enormous."

Also Noemi Schindler, one of the last graduates of her master class, emphasized that every lesson with her was a sort of being utterly rewarded. In the history of the violin playing, no other violinist has comparably managed a similar broad life's work: Aida Stucki was active and successful as a soloist, chamber musician, member of a string quartet, teacher, wife and mother.

   

Fortunately, many studio recordings, radio productions and live recordings of over 90 works have been preserved and transferred to CD.

Several official releases are in preparation with Aida Stucki and they will be published by

Aida Stucki’s violin playing is available after 25 years in regard to this website.

For you, dear readers and listeners,
- As stated by Hermann Scherchens 60 years ago -


“A major Swiss violinist”


performs works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Schoeck and Martinu.

You may feel “being utterly rewarded”

Dr. Christof Honecker
 

 

 

Im August 2009 erschien in der Winterthurer Tageszeitung "Der Landbote" anläßlich der Wiederveröffentlichung des Beethovenschen Violinkonzertes bei TAHRA (Bezug/Download möglich über Amazon oder iTunes) und Mozarts Gesamtwerk für Solovioline in einem 6 CD-Set bei DOREMI  folgende Würdigung der Geigerin und Pädagogin Aida Stucki durch die Musikschriftstellerin Rita Wolfensberger:

Dem Mimen (im Bereich der Musik: dem Interpreten) wird zwar laut Schiller nachgesagt. dass ihm die Nachwelt keine Kränze widme. Das mag, verglichen mit dem Nachruhm grosser Komponisten und deren anscheinend unsterblicher Meisterwerke seine Richtigkeit haben. dafür aber kommt ihm die kostbare Aufgabe zu, diese und immer neue Werke dem jeweils gegenwärtigen Publikum und dem musizierendcn Nachwuchs - gleichsam als Fackelträger - weiterzureichen und damit lebendig zu erhalten. Aida Stucki hat beides auf eine einzigartig fruchtbare Weise vermocht. Zunächst trat sie als Solistin in beeindruckender Weise in Erscheinung: In Kairo als Kind eines Winterthurer Unternehmers und einer italienischen Sängerin geboren. kam sie als Siebenjährige nach Winterthur und gelangte hier in die berufenen Hände ihres Lehrers und Dirigenten Ernst Wolters. der das verlässliche Fundament zu ihrer späteren geigerischen Meisterschaft legte. Dann wurde Stefi Geyer ihre auf neue Art prägende Lehrerin, mit der zusammen sie schon als Teenager Bachs Doppelkonzert mehrfach aufführen konnte.

Den letzten künstlerischen Schliff holte sich Aida Stucki beim hochverehrten Meister Carl Flesch in Luzern. Und mit neunzehn Jahren gewann sie den Preis am Internationalen Musikwettbewerb in Genf, wonach ihre Karriere raketenhaft aufstieg. Kein Geringerer als Hermann Scherchen, der damalige Dirigent des Winterthurer Stadtorchesters, kündigte schon die Zwanzigjährige als «grosse Schweizer Geigerin» an. Aus dieser ersten Erfolgsphase sind nun sämtliche Violinkonzerte von Mozart sowie das Violinkonzert von Beethoven auf sehr guten CD-Reproduktionen wieder greifbar. Von Aida Stuckis eminenter Interpretationskunst - sie spielte eine herrliche Guadagnini und sogar eine Stradivari, vom St. Gallener Mäzen Rolf Habisreutinger ausgeliehen - künden nun blühende Musikalität, perfekte Präzision, mitunter die mitreissende Jugendlichkeit, auch die einzigartige Beherrschung des Détaché (schnelle, ungemein prägnant geführte Bogenwechsel bei schnellen Passagen) und eine Ausdruckswärme von spontaner Natürlichkeit. An Solokadenzen benützte Aida Stucki damals mit Vorliebe jene von Joseph Joachim, die bis heute gelegentlich gespielt werden, sowie von Stefi Geyer, Sitt, Auer und vor allem Enesco, der geschickte Zweistimmigkeiten mit guter Motivverarbeitung in eine kluge knappe Form zu fassen verstand. Zur Solokadenz im Allgemeinen sagt Aida Stucki, sie bevorzuge nicht allzu weitschweifige, die sich vom eigentlichen Konzertstil nicht zu weit fortbewegen und auch nicht einer übertriebenen Selbstdarstellung des Spielers dienen sollten.

Rasch baute die erfolgreiche Solistin auch ihre vielfältigen kammermusikalischen Aktivitäten aus, für die ihr ein nicht weniger grosses Talent geschenkt war. Nebst Klavierpartnern von ebenbürtigem Niveau wie Clara Haskil, Walter Frey und Pina Pozzi war es dann vor allem Christoph Lieske, mit dem sie etliche Integrale aufführte, von denen jetzt die Klavier/Violin-Sonaten von Mozart beglückendes Zeugnis ablegen. Mit Pina Pozzi und Esther Nyffenegger unterhielt sie auch einige Zeit ein erfolgreiches Damen-Klaviertrio, und mit ihrem Gatten Giuseppe Piraccini, dem Bratschisten Hermann Friedrich und Walter Haefeli am Cello gewann das Piraccini-Stucki-Quartett höchstes internationales Ansehen. Dann aber entfaltete Aida Piraccini - Stucki ihre dritte, ihre wohl nachhaltigste musikalische Berufung als Fackelträgerin. So wie sie von ihren Lehrmeistern künstlerische Erkenntnis und spieltechnisches Können empfangen hatte, so begann sie, ans Winterthurer Konservatorium als Lehrkraft berufen, ihrerseits die gewonnenen Erfahrungen - auch diejenigen auf dem internationalen Konzertpodium - weiterzugeben. Bereits 1948 nahm sie ihre Lehrtätigkeit in Winterthur auf, 1992 wurde für die bereits 71-jährige Geigerin am Konservatorium erstmals überhaupt eine Meisterklasse geschaffen.

Ihr offenes, spontanes, menschenfreundliches Wesen wirkte mit der instrumentalspezifischen Kompetenz auf überaus glückliche Weise zusammen, sodass es ihr gelang, allerhöchste Qualität zu fordern (und vielfach zu erzielen), aber auch ihre Studenten gleichzeitig auf den Weg zum eigenen Stil und zu voller Selbstsicherheit zu weisen. Die Liste hervorragender Violinisten der Stucki-Schule ist imponierend lang. Unter ihnen seien vor allem diejenigen, die mit Winterthur speziell verbunden sind, erwähnt: Rainer Wolters etwa, der Enkel von Aida Stuckis erstem Lehrer Ernst Wolters, Rahel Cunz, Konzertmeisterin beim Musikkollegium, Roman Conrad (mit eigenem Quartett), Matthias Enderle und Susanne Frank, die beiden Geiger des Carmina-Quartettes, Noëmie Schindler, die Schwestern Mirjam und Sibylle Tschopp. Zu nennen ist aber natürlich vor allem auch Anne-Sophie Mutter, die den eigenen und den Namen der genialen Lehrerin, die in Winterthur wirkte und hier auch heute noch wohnt, in alle Welt getragen hat. Und auch sie tragen jetzt als Interpreten und als Lehrer die Fackel der Musik unermüdlich weiter im Wissen. dass die Tonkunst nicht wie die Bildende Kunst sicht- und greifbar erhalten bleibt, sondern nur dann zum erlebten Ereignis wird, wenn sie gespielt und gehört wird. Aida Stucki hat zu solcher Verwirklichung aufs Generöseste beigetragen.

Den kompletten Artikel als als PDF-Datei downloaden

 
"Die englische Musikzeitschrift "The Strad" veröffentlichte im Septem ber 2009 ein Spezialheft mit dem Titel:
VIOLIN HEROES
Top violinists of today look back on the players who have influenced them".

Anne-Sophie Mutter schreibt darin über den prägenden Einfluß ihrer Lehrerin Aida Stucki:"

Anne Sophie Mutter

 

 

THE FIRST MEMORY I HAVE of a string player was of Yehudi Menuhin, from his recording of Mendelssohn and Beethoven concertos, which was my parents wedding gift to each other, so we must have heard it a million times as children. His early recordings are the most fascinating ones: I'm not sure if I could hear that wonderful tonal beauty and intensity of sound later on.

I wanted to have violin lessons for my fifth birthday and the first concert I heard, a year later, was with David Olstrakh.

I remember it as if it was yesterday - he played the three Brahms sonatas with Frida Bauer and his stage presence and sound were unforgettable. I suddenly understood that music is more than playing the notes, that it can transform and transpose the people who are listening to it. That was a magical moment in my life and from then on I realised I wanted to become some sort of musical sculptor.

My greatest influence form a teacher was Aida Stucki. My family and I had been looking for a pedagogue who would go on schooling me in the tradition of Carl Flesch, because that was the way I started my musical life and it seemed to work well for my personality.

I auditioned for her but she refused to become my teacher because she said she couldn't take the responsibility of taking me through the important teenage years and the transition between being a very well-trained young musician to beeing a fully equipped, analytical young musician.

DURING THE PERIOD OF STILL HOPING that Stucki would take me on, I went to get advice from Henryk Szeryng, who was a guiding light in terms of his technical precision and his classical approach to interpretation. I went to Geneva to audition for him.

I remember the morning I went: we had an appointment at ten or eleven but he wasn't there, so I waited a few hours. I'd prepared some music with the piano, but nobody had thought of the possibility that there might not be a piano in his hotel room. He asked me, "How about some solo Bach?" At the age of ten I was already aware that he was the god of Bach's solo sonatas, but what could I do?

I did my best to resurrect what I knew and remembered the Bach E major Partita, and he was perfectly nice after that. He said he would always be there in case I needed some musical advice, but he would advise me to return to Stucki - they studied in the same class under Flesch.

We went back and Stucki agreed that we would try to collaborate. We started in January and with summer around the corner I was one of the few students in the world who didn't look forward to the summer break. This was not only because she was an inspiration but also because we had such a grand time, so not seeing her for eight or ten weeks seemed to be horrible, and I really looked forward to the autumn.

Stucki has a razor-sharp analytical brain with which she can tell immediately where the strong aspects of someone's artistic capacity are. Therefore over the decades that she was a teacher she taught generations of wonderful violinists who ended up as concertmasters, soloists or chamber musicians. She was able to give us the gift of curiositiy and self-analysis.

When I was 16 or 17, I started to give concerts much more and finished my studies so I didn't go to regular sessions with her, but we stayed in regular concat and do even now. The transition between being a pupil and admirer of her art to also being a friend was a very natural one, which speaks for her character.

She also has the ability to let her pupils live their own lives. They sometimes played with a different viewpiont from the one she had, but she would be able to appreciate it, even though she would have played it differently herself. That's something I learnt to take on as a teacher: you should never try to model a pupil after your own personality - it's deadly.

INTERVIEW BY ARIANE TODES