David, Ferdinand


One of the most celebrated violinplayers and teachers of Germany, who numbered Joachim, Wilhelmj and other well-known violinists, among his pupils. He was born at Hamburg and lived there at the time of the French occupation. He is said to have played in a concert when only ten and at thirteen he became a pupil of Spohr at Cassel. He made a concert tour with his sister, Mme. Dulcken, and in 1827 entered the orchestra of the Konigstadt Theatre at Berlin, where he met Mendelssohn, with whom he became intimate. While in Berlin he attracted the attention of a wealthy musical amateur named Liphart, who lived at Dorpat and who maintained a quartet at his own expense. He engaged David as leader and he eventually married Liphart's daughter. When Mendelssohn was appointed conductor at the Gewandhaus concerts at Leipsic he made David concertmaster, and he held this post until 1836. Seven years later the Conservatory of Leipsic was founded by Mendelssohn, and David became professor of the violin. In this position his influence became great and beneficial. In Leipsic he established a quartet, which was one of the best of the day. He died in 1873 and is remembered as one of the most admirable teachers of the century. Mendelssohn is said to have conferred with him as to his (Mendelssohn's) concerto during its composition, and to have given other evidences of his belief in his musical ability.