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Biography
Eugene Fodor was an American violinist born on March 5, 1950. His career was somewhat uneven and enigmatic. He first took up the violin when he was five and initially studied with Harold Wippler, concertmaster of the Denver Symphony for a number of years. At 10, he made his orchestral debut with that orchestra and continued his studies with Wippler for another five years. At 15, he enrolled at Juilliard (New York) where he studied with Ivan Galamian. He also soloed with the Detroit Symphony at age 15. Josef Gingold was his teacher at Indiana University a short time later (diploma 1970). By this time, he was already concertizing. He was then a student of Jascha Heifetz at USC. He was also winning several competitions along the way, including the Merriweather Post Competition in Washington D.C.

After picking up first prize in the Paganini Competition in Italy in 1972 at age 22, Fodor became famous. As if this weren’t enough, two years later (1974), he won a Silver Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (no Gold Medal was awarded that year.) Ironically, even with these competition wins and dozens of successful concert tours under his belt, he was never a guest soloist with some of the best American orchestras – Boston, Chicago, and New York, among others. Speculation that Isaac Stern was somehow instrumental in shutting him off from certain venues prevails until this day. It should be noted, however, that Stern had given Fodor a recommendation to attend Juilliard.

Fodor had at least 40 concertos and more than 40 violin Sonatas in his repertoire, in addition to countless miscellaneous works for violin and piano or unaccompanied violin. He also recorded several major works for the RCA, Sony, and Grazioso labels, among others.

Fodor married in 1978, divorced in 1985, and remarried in the 90s. Fodor is known for having been selected to play Paganini’s violin (the Guarnerius Cannone of 1743, worth about $40 million) in a San Francisco recital in 1999, on the eve of Paganini’s birthday. YouTube has several videos of his playing. He is also remembered for having been arrested for drug possession in 1989. The New York Times published a lengthy article regarding this episode in his life. It is easy to find on the internet. His latest prize was the European Soloist award in 1999. Fodor died on February 26, 2011, at (almost) age 61. The website Violinist.com wrote a tribute to Fodor published on March 1, 2011.
This biography was most recently edited by...
violinhunter - 1 Mar 2011
YvonneK - 10 Nov 2010
YvonneK - 10 Nov 2010
YvonneK - 24 Jul 2010
YvonneK - 24 Jul 2010
violinhunter - 6 Jun 2009
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