David, Ferdinand , noted German violinist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Hamburg, Jan. 19,1810; d. near Klosters, Switzerland, July 18, 1873. In 1823–24 he studied with Spohr and Hauptmann at Kassel, then played in the Gewandhaus Orch. in Leipzig in 1825. From 1826 to 1829 he was a member of the Konigstadt Theater in Berlin. In 1829 he became the first violinist in
the private string quartet of the wealthy amateur Baron von Liphardt of Russia, whose daughter he married. He remained in Russia until 1835, giving concerts in Riga, Moscow, and St. Petersburg with great acclaim. In 1836 he was appointed first violinist of the Gewandhaus Orch., of which Mendelssohn was the conductor. They became warm friends; Mendelssohn had a great regard for him, and consulted him while writing his Violin Concerto; it was David who gave its first performance (Leipzig, March 13, 1845). When the Leipzig Cons, was established in 1843, David became one of its most important teachers. His class was regarded as the finishing school of the most talented violinists in Europe, and among his pupils were Joachim and Wilhelmj. He publ. many valuable eds. of violin works by classical composers, notably Die hohe Schule des Violinspiels, containing French and Italian masterpieces of the 17th and 18th centuries. His pedagogical activities did not interfere with his concert career. He played in England in 1839 and 1841 with excellent success and was compared with Spohr as a virtuoso, and he also made occasional appearances on the Continent. Among his works were 5 violin concertos and many other pieces for violin, an opera, Hans Wacht (Leipzig, 1852), 2 syms., and string quartets and other chamber music. His violin pieces, Bunte Reihe, were transcribed for piano by Liszt.
J. Eckardt, F. D. und die Familie Mendelssohn- Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1888).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire