Dr. Savely M. Shalman
(b. 1945) is a prominent Russian violin teacher, Honored Worker of Culture, PhD in Arts. In 1963 he graduated from the Musical College named after N. Rimsky-Korsakov, where he studied under Professor A. Rushansky. Later he studied in Leningrad Conservatoire under famous Professor B. Sergeev (who also taught D. Berlinsky, S. Stadler, M. Fedotov, T. Grindenko among others). S. Shalman used to work in orchestras, chamber ensembles, performed in Leningrad and other cities until he discovered his teaching genius. In 1972 he joined Vassileostrovskaya Music School. For a period of time he taught violin guidelines and art of violin playing in Leningrad Conservatoire but since 1990 he has focused only on his work with students in St Petersburg Conservatoire Special Lyceum and other schools.
Dr. Shalman has taught over 2500 violinists many of whom took prominent positions around the world. Among his students are Lidia Baich
(Austria), Alexander Velinzon
(Assistant Orchestra Leader of Boston Symphony Orchestra), Marina Grauman
(Leader of Berlin Symphony Orchestra), Anastasia Agapova
(Atlanta Symphony, USA), David Chakvetadze (Leader of St Petersburg Philharmonic Academy Symphony Orchestra), Anton Starodubzev (Leader of the Second String Violin Section of St Petersburg Philharmonic Academy Symphony Orchestra), Lada Bronina
(Leader of Saarbrucken String Symphony Orchestra, Germany), Ksenia Milas
(Academy of Imola, Italy), Alexey Meydsof (Soloist of Vaasa Opera Orchestra, Finland), Johanna ("Yana") Bourkova-Morunov
(Associate Concertmaster of Fort Wayne Philharmonic), Roman Baykov (Leader of Kammerphilarmonie Orchestra, Emsland, Germany) and many other members of leading Russian, European and American orchestras.
Shulman's activities include numerous workshops and lectures both in Russia and abroad (Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy; Stratford Upon Avon England; Burgos, Spain and many other cities of almost all European countries and the USA). Together with Natalia Gutman, Alexander Brussilovsky, Brenno Ambrossini and others he is an Assistant Professor of the International Schnitke Academy, Pontlevoy, France) as well as a jury member of various international violin competitions in Serbia, Czechia, Finland, Germany, Austria. His articles and essays appear in special magazines, he is engaged as a compiler and an editor of numerous albums of violin music. Among them are the albums came out of print in Compozitor Publishing House: Anthology of Violin Pieces in Four Volumes, Tartini's Variations on Corelli's Theme (Art of the Bow
), pieces by Rachmaninov, Gavrilin and many others. S. Shalman is an editor and an acquisitor of "Violin Bowing" collection which includes articles by K. Flesh, A. Yanshinov and A. Yampolsky, an author of study programs for music schools and colleges. He developed and implemented a new and effective system of young violinist's upbringing that ensures fast progress and constant motivation.
His method is exposed in his book I Will Be a Violinst!
which at the moment is one of the most popular and sought guides of violin methods. The first volume had come out of print in 1984 and was instantly reprinted in 1987. Since the appearance of the 2nd
volume the total edition comprises the whole period of violin studies.
Shalman's method became indispensable in violin teaching in Russia. So, responding to numerous requests Compozitor Publishing House reprinted the 3rd
edition, revised and enhanced (2015-2017).
Both books are divided into sections, in which the author addresses his audience; each section is dedicated to the specific skill or the element of performing. The note material encourages students' music imagination, develops their emotional responses, technical skills and the sense of style. The method is entertaining and easily comprehended. The book is useful both for those who have just begun their studying and those who wish to enhance or correct their performing apparatus. This book can help late beginners (8 years or older) to catch up with the others. Supplementary sections are introduced. They are dedicated to various aspects of violin culture, namely
- to the parental aid and control (Hints to parents
), that would help to make practicing more effective;
- to theoretical studies (Methodical comments
), that contain detailed and specific notions and pieces of advice;
- to the historical background (About violin and violinists
), which elaborates on the history of the violin as an instrument and its peculiarities, acquaints the reader with great violinists and great violin teachers of the past.
The first in the world attempt of making the violin video-aid is an excellent addition to the method. Being sectioned in two big parts it illustrates visually Mr. Shalman's way of young violinists' upbringing. The 1st
section of the book I Will Be a Violinist!
(7 episodes), illustrates the whole method and its guidelines. The 2nd
section of the book, called Instructive and Concert Repertoire
, is devoted to practicing baroque and romantic pieces, violin concertos and virtuoso pieces and caprices; it introduces young violinists brought up according to S. Shalman's method and allows to follow their progress year after year from age 5 to 18. Fragments of video and audio recordings of great violin masters of the XX century are included for comparison.
Nowadays concerts of the Secondary Special Music School students take place in all great music halls in St Petersburg, Hamburg, Hanover, Vienna and other cities. They include solo and chamber music of all times and all nations, as well as unknown and rarely performed compositions in particular.
Shalman's class is one of the highest in its quality. One of his students, Margarita Aktisova (b. 2007), became a many-time Laureate of International Competitions (the winner of the 1st
prize and Grand Prix) in Russia (St Petersburg and Moscow) and other countries (Ca Ave Musica in Turkey, International Karl Adler Youth Music Festival in Germany, Golden Time Talent in the UK, Viva Music International competition All World in the USA and some others) and was invited to perform in Rudolf Steiner House in London, the UK and Carnegie Hall in New York, the USA.
In 2019-2020 the violin concert cycle called "String Heartbeat" has been held, in which short small pieces, ensembles, virtuoso compositions and concertos have been performed. Live concerts as well as recordings of Shalman's students always gain much interest among professionals and the general public and that is the reason for their constant high attendance.