That’s what we all called him, affectionately, and with the greatest respect. Never to his face, though.
I first heard of Oscar Shumsky when I was a child. My parents would talk about him, affectionately and with the greatest respect. They had both studied with him at Peabody just before the 2nd World War, when they were barely 20 and falling in love. I always heard about what a great violinist and musician he was and how he should have had a bigger career and many theories as to why that didn’t happen.
My parents took me to a recital of Shumsky’s in Cleveland when I was about 10 or 11. There were a couple of years during which I was a ruthless autograph hound. To every concert, I carried my little blue,