Pinchas Zukerman (b. 1948) – Israeli violinist, one of the most prominent personalities of the violin world in our times. A New York debut in 1963 initiated his carreer, one of extraordinary breath. Zukerman also appears as a violist and conductor, and engages in pedagogical activities. In the years 1980-1987, he was musical director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and presently leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.
Witold Lutosławski composed the Partita for violin and piano in 1984, on a request by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The work was destined for Pinchas Zukerman and the regularly collaborating pianist, Marc Neikrug; the two artists gave its premiere on January 18, 1985.
Lutosławski wrote in a Warsaw Autumn program commentary, in part: “The work consists of five movements. Of these, the main movements are the first (Allegro giusto), the third (Largo) and the fifth (Presto). The second and fourth are but short interludes to be played ad libitum. (...) The three major movements follow, rhythmically at least, the tradition of pre-Classical (eighteenth-century) keyboard music. (...) Harmonically and melodically, the Partita clearly belongs to the same group of recent compositions as Symphony no. 3 and Chain I”.kt / trans. mk