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Naoum Blinder (1889 – November 21, 1965) was a Russian-American virtuoso violinist and teacher, born in Yevpatoria[1] (then Russian Empire, now Russia).

Early life and education

He graduated from the Imperial Conservatory of Odessa at 14, where he studied with Alexander Fiedeman. From 1910 to 1913, he attended the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he studied with Adolph Brodsky. After graduation, he took up a teaching post at the Imperial Conservatory of Odessa, and remained there until 1920.

Violinist career

In 1921 Blinder embarked on a concert tour in Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Leningrad, Moscow, and various other places and in 1926 went on a more extensive tour which included the Republic of Turkey, and Palestine, and returned to Russia by way of Siberia in January 1927.

In 1928 Blinder (later joined by his wife and daughter) went on a concert tour in Japan which included 7 concerts in Tokyo alone, and 23 concerts in other cities of Japan. Instead of returning to Russia, he went to the United States (via Honolulu and San Francisco) to record for Columbia Records in New York City. The Blinder family remained in New York City and Naoum taught at the Juilliard School between 1929 and 1931. Unfortunately around this time his only daughter contracted tuberculosis and died at only 13 years of age.

At the invitation of Issay Dobrowen in 1931, Blinder accepted the concertmaster position at the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he also played under Pierre Monteux and Enrique Jorda. He remained with the orchestra until 1957, and was a soloist with many orchestras around the country. He was one of the founders of the San Francisco String Quartet (1935), which was composed of members of the orchestra, including his cellist brother, Boris.


Blinder was a noted violin teacher as well. His most prominent student was one of the most critically acclaimed violinists of the twentieth century, Isaac Stern. At one time, he had 17 students in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and all the members of the first violin section of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra were Blinder students as well. Other noted students were David Abel, Austin Reller, and Glenn Dicterow, who was the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

Blinder died in San Francisco on November 21, 1965, of heart failure, aged 76 years.

Violins Used

Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, violin 1753c ex-Rauer 1933

Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, violin 1774 ex-Blinder

Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, violin 1845-50 ex-Blinder


  • Roth, Henry. Great Violinists in Performance. Critical Evaluations of over 100 Twentieth-Century Virtuosi, Panjamdrum Books, 1987.
  • Saleski, Gdal. Famous Musicians of Jewish Origin, Bloch Publishing Company, 1949.
  • Sendrey, Alfred. Bibliography of Jewish Music, Columbia University Press, 1951.
  • Vodarsky-Shiraeff, Alexandria. Russian Composers and Musicians. A biographical Dictionary, H. W. Wilson, 1940.
  • Wier, Albert E. The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians in One Volume, Macmillan and Co., 1938.


  1. ^ Saunders, Richard Drake. Music and Dance in California and the West, Bureau of Musical Research, 1948: place of birth is Lutsk