Ruggiero Ricci passed away this week at the age of 94 (1918-2012). For many decades he was renowned as a virtuoso violinist. He specialized in the showpiece repertoire - he premiered numerous works by Paganini in concert and on recordings - but he had virtually the entire violin repertoire comitted to memory. One of my favourite Ricci recordings was the Brahms Violin Concerto. The CD also included dozens of cadenzas of the piece - not just the usual Kreisler or Joachim - all played by Ricci.
Ricci was the son of Italian immigrants but he was born in San Bruno, California. He was a child prodigy and studied with Louis Persinger who also taught Menuhin and Stern. Ricci gave his last public concerts in 2003 and lived in retirement in Palm Springs, California. For more on Ricci visit his website at www.ruggieroricci.com.
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