Ginette Neveu

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Ginette Neveu (August 11, 1919October 27, 1949) was a French violinist.

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Ginette Neveu

Born in Paris, France into a very musical family, Ginette Neveu became a violinist and her brother Jean-Paul Neveu a classical pianist. She was also the grandniece of composer Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937). A child prodigy, Ginette Neveu took lessons from her mother and made her solo debut at the age of seven with the Colonne Orchestra in Paris. Her parents then decided to send her to study under Line Talluel, and after further studies with Jules Boucherit at the Paris Conservatory, she completed her training with instruction from George Enescu, Nadia Boulanger, and Carl Flesch.

At age 15, Ginette Neveu achieved worldwide celebrity status when she won the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition over 180 contestants, including the future virtuoso David Oistrakh, who finished second. Neveu was immediately signed to an extensive touring contract that, over the next two years, saw her give solo performances at the great music halls of Germany, Poland, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Canada.

Neveu's international career was interrupted by World War II, but she finally was able to make her London debut in 1945. Her brother Jean-Paul accompanied her on piano, and the two toured post-war Europe extensively, appearing at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, as well as in Australia and South America. They also made return engagements at major venues in the United States. Noted for her intensity, power, and impeccable sonority, Ginette Neveu is recognized as one of the world's great violinists, despite a career that ended at a very young age.

Ginette Neveu gave her last concert on October 20, 1949. A week later, on October 27, she and her brother boarded an Air France flight en route to another series of concert engagements. All 48 passengers on board the flight, including the famous French boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died when the plane flew into a mountain after two failed attempts to make a landing at the São Miguel Island airport in the Azores.

It is said that Ginette Neveu's body was found still clutching her Stradivarius in her arms.fr:Ginette Neveu

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