Sassmannshaus, Kurt

Kurt Sassmannshaus is a world-renowned violinist and esteemed violin pedagogue, known for his exceptional teaching methods and the success of his students. Holding the distinguished Dorothy Richard Starling Chair for Classical Violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Sassmannshaus has trained prizewinners of major international competitions, prominent soloists, chamber musicians, and orchestra leaders.

Early Life and Education

Born with a passion for music, Kurt Sassmannshaus embarked on his musical journey at a young age. He studied under the tutelage of Igor Ozim at the University of Cologne, where he completed his bachelor's degree. Pursuing his love for the violin, Sassmannshaus went on to earn a Master's degree from the prestigious Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay.

Teaching Excellence and Methodology

In addition to his extensive performing career, Kurt Sassmannshaus is acclaimed for his innovative teaching approach. In 1987, he established the Starling Preparatory String Project, a pre-collegiate program aimed at nurturing young string players with exceptional talent. This program has gained worldwide recognition for its unmatched performance opportunities, particularly through the Starling Chamber Orchestra, which Sassmannshaus conducts. The orchestra has enthralled audiences across Europe, Korea, China, and even graced New York's esteemed Lincoln Center.

Sassmannshaus' teaching methodology focuses on training extraordinary young talent, emphasizing the importance of performance experience. His students have gone on to hold significant faculty positions in conservatories around the world, further solidifying his reputation as a leading pedagogue.

Online Instruction and Violin Masterclass

In September 2004, Kurt Sassmannshaus launched, a pioneering website offering free video instruction on various aspects of violin playing. This groundbreaking platform has garnered over 20 million hits annually, making Sassmannshaus the most widely recognized violin teacher in the history of violin teaching. The website provides invaluable access to top-quality violin instruction, transcending geographical barriers and financial constraints.

The latest addition to Violin Masterclass is live online lessons conducted by Sassmannshaus himself, as well as other esteemed violinists. Regardless of their location, aspiring violinists from all corners of the globe can now benefit from world-class instruction. This digital innovation has revolutionized the way violin education is accessed and has opened doors for aspiring musicians in remote areas.

The Great Wall International Music Academy

In 2005, Kurt Sassmannshaus founded the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, a summer festival designed for young string soloists. This renowned academy, now in its seventh year, attracts 60 talented students from China and around the world. The students receive intensive training, participate in rehearsals, and showcase their skills in a picturesque setting. The academy boasts an international faculty, including the esteemed American String Quartet and key faculty members from major music schools worldwide.

International Influence and Master Classes

Kurt Sassmannshaus' impact on the global music community extends beyond his teaching and online presence. He has conducted master classes in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, and Australia, sharing his expertise with aspiring violinists worldwide. Additionally, Sassmannshaus is a respected judge in international violin competitions, further contributing to the development of young talent.


Kurt Sassmannshaus has left an indelible mark on the world of classical music. Through his exceptional teaching methods, his founding of the Starling Preparatory String Project, the launch of Violin Masterclass, and the establishment of the Great Wall International Music Academy, he has shaped the careers of countless violinists and enriched the classical music landscape. His dedication to nurturing young talent and his commitment to making violin education accessible to all have solidified his legacy as a true icon in the realm of violin pedagogy.

Cello Compositions of Kurt Sassmannshaus | Animato Strings

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