Leonid Borisovitch Kogan
(b. Dnepropetrosk, 14 November 1924), received his first violin lessons
at the age of seven. His father, a photographer by trade, was a good
"amateur" violinist. At ten, his family moved to Moscow, where
Leonid became a pupil of one of the most famous Leopold Auer disciples;
Abram Yampol'sky, first at the Central Music School in Moscow, then
at the Moscow Conservatory (1943-48) and as a postgraduate (1948-51).
Since 1941, the year he gave his first concert in Moscow at the age
of 17, he toured thoughout all the USSR while still a student. Despite
his prodigious success in concert, he was sparred from the exploitation
as a prodige child by his parents. In 1947, he was co-winner of the
first prize at the World festival of Democratic Youth in Prague and
four years later he took first prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition
in Brussels. From this events, he was counted among the world's most
outstanding violinists of his time and, together with David Oistrakh
and Eduard Gratch, the best representant of the russian/ Jewish School
of violin-playing. He toured extensively in Europa, making his debuts
in Paris and in London in 1955. In 1956 he played his first concert
in South America and next year in the USA. In 1952, he joined the Moscow
Conservatory, and was appointed Professor there in 1963.
Kogan married Elizaveta Gilels (sister of the famous pianist Emil Gilels),
also a concert violinist.
With Gilels and Rostropovich, Kogan have explored the Trio repertory
with great success. Leonid Kogan was the first soviet violinist to play
and record in USSR Berg's Violin Concerto. Among works dedicated to
him are concertos by Knipper, Krennibov, Karayev and Bunin, the concerto-Rhapsody
by Khachaturian and Sonatas by Levitin and Vainberg. His violin was
a Guarneri del Gesu dated 1726. His son, Pavel Kogan, bom in 1952, became
a famous violinist and posses the purity of tone and the technical mastery
of his father. Leonid Kogan died prematurely (17 november 1982), in
a train, at the Mytischa railway station. He was only 58 years old.