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Michael Shaham; Rinat Shaham; Naomi Shaham; Noga Shaham

The Ilona Feher Foundation (IFF)

Established in 2003, IFF honors the late violin pedagogue Ilona Feher (1901-1988) whose guidance helped shape the world's greatest violinists.

Honoring Ms. Feher's legacy, IFF is a non-profit organization that will support promising young Israeli violinists.

A network of highly respected, established musicians will work together to select award recipients.

These young artists will be awarded monetary grants to be applied towards performing opportunities, recordings and instrument loans. Furthermore, they will receive guidance and mentorship from Foundation members and have access to private lessons, master classes, and other intensive courses in Israel and abroad.

Together with his colleague, violinist Ittai Shapira, Hagai Shaham is a co-founder of The Ilona Feher Foundation.


Ilona Feher


"Prof. Ilona Feher, one of the last representatives of the Central European Violin School (Joachim, Sevcik, Hubay) died in Holon, Israel in January aged 86. Born on 3 December 1901 in Budapest, Hungary, Feher studied with Jeno Hubay for six years at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. Other violin teachers of her early years were Joseph Bloch, Josef Smvilovitch (another pupil of Jeno Hubay) and Imre Pogany. Between the two world wars she performed all over Europe, in particular with Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebow Orchestra in Amsterdam. Feher lived in Budapest until 1942 when she was interned with her daughter in a concentration camp. They managed to escape in 1944, and joined Hungarian and Czechoslovakian partisans until the liberation by the Soviet Red Army. She later returned to the concert stage to perform only in Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe. In 1949 she emigrated to Israel to begin a new life as a violin teacher. Within 25 years she had built herself a reputation as an inspired teacher of strong discipline, but not without a sense of humour. Her 250 pupils include some of the world's most famous violinists such as Pinkas Zukerman and Shlomo Mintz, chamber music players Shmuel Ashkenazy and David Erlich as well as orchestra musician, Ron Ephrat (Principal Violist Rotterdam Philharmonic) and conductor Yoel Levi. In addition to teaching at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv, Feher held master classes all over the world. She frequently served as jurist in international violin competitions in Munich and Freiburg (Spohr competition). Feher was awarded the Golden Medal and Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and the Israel prize for the Arts. She was also made an Honorary Doctor of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and Honorary Citizen of the city of Holon which was always her home town in Israel."

--by Ron Ephrat, from The Strad (special edition dedicated to Heifetz) 1988.

Michael Shaham; Rinat Shaham; Naomi Shaham; Noga Shaham

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