Ottokar Sevcik

Ottokar SevcikPronounced (Safe-chik)

Ottokar Sevcik was born March 22, 1852, at Horazdowitz, Bohemia.

He studied first under his father, and then under Anton Bennewitz at the Conservatory of Prague (1866-70).

After graduating he gave concerts in Prague, and eventually made his debut in Vienna in 1873.

At the beginning of his careers he suffered many hardships, but he eventually achieved some success in Russia, which led to his being appointed violin professor at the Imperial Music School in Kiev, 1875.

He remained there until 1892, when he accepted an invitation from his old teacher, Anton Bennewtiz, who was now principal of the Conservatory, to return to Prague as chief violin professor.

Good luck attended him by providing for him a brilliant pupil in the person of Kubelik, but any lingering suspicion that Sevcik owed his success entirely to this circumstance was dispelled by the publication of his remarkable Violin Method of Beginners, and by the success of Kocian, Marie Hall and other pupils hardly less noted than Kubelik.

His principal success has been in developing the technique of the violin, which he has systematized far in advance of anything previously attempted.

His “semitone system” ensures an early development of correct intonation, and leaves the student free to develop bowing technique.

Since 1909 Sevcik has been head of the violin department at the Vienna Conservatory.

Ottokar Sevcik died January 19, 1934.