Katò Havas was a child prodigy who gave her first professional recital at the age of seven.
Her compatriot Emil Telmanyi was so impressed that he arranged for her to recieve traditional hungarian virtuoso training with Imre Waldbauer at the Hungarian Music Acadamy.
Age seventeen she made her debut at the Carnegy Hall and was acclaimed by critics everywhere.
A demanding tour all through the United States followed.
Katò by then considered herself no longer a child prodigy but a fully fledged artist .
She found a period of retirement quite naturally when she “opted out“ and got married by the end of the year.
She stopped playing altogether to completly devote herself to her family.
When her three daughters were practically grown up she began working with some pupils as an experiment for the ideas on violin playing she had developed.
Her teaching career began in a cowshed in 1959.
Katò, when moving into her little storybook cottage in the country, had not considered (she always made very quick decisions) that the tiny rooms were too small for a piano and the low ceilings were too low for violin playing.
So pupils, friends, family and other highly unskilled labourers managed to convert this cowshed into a music room were it all began.
Katò started to explain how (with her very small hands) she had experienced great problems especially with her little finger despite all her sucess.
Mr. Mendoza opened her eyes to the possibility of physical balances in playing and so she went forward with her own ideas as to why tension and fatigue should be totally unnesessary.
The often instantanious results she got from her pupils were amazing and soon the word spread.
Nobody less than Yehudi Menuhin recommended her first book and later on became the patron of her Music Festival. The rest is history.
Her “New Approach to violin playing“ was born.
Kató Havas books for Violin Players
These are books written by Katò Havas OBE. I would warmly recommend them to you! What I would like to emphazise however is, that these books offer great support but are not a substitute for one to one lessons and coaching as I offer with my system Freedom to play the violin.
Katò Havas books are about the “New Approach” which is a new method of violin playing. It is “new” as it does not follow conventional methods of violin playing. Rather than focusing on which way to place your hands and even forcing your body into the “correct position”, it focusses on what we call the fundamental balances. This may sound complicated, but it is not as it involves applying natural body motions, movements we do in daily life without even thinking about it. The perfect answer to tension, cramp and musical frustration that unfortunately so often come along with violin playing. Many points can also be applied to other instruments. Enjoy reading!A follow up of her first book with more detailed explanations relating to the fundamental balances and pieces to play as a pupil-teacher duo in 12 separate units. For beginners as well as advanced players (1984)
The twelve lesson course
A follow up of her first book with more detailed explanations relating to the fundamental balances and pieces to play as a pupil-teacher duo in 12 separate units. For beginners as well as advanced players (1984) The Twelve Lesson Course (A New Approach to Violin Playing). For Violin. 88 pages. Bosworth & Co.
A New Approach to violin playing
A New Approach to Violin Playing For Violin. Classical. 79 pages. Bosworth & Co.
This was her first book written in the sixties causing quite a stir in the musical world. (1961)
Stage Fright – Causes and Cures
Of all Katò Havas books on violin playing, I consider the book Stage Fright the “Bible for Violinists”, addressing problems and fears that players of all levels often experience and offering concrete practical solutions. It was first published in 1973.
Stage Fright (Its Causes and Cures with Special Reference to Violin Playing). For Violin. 136 pages. Bosworth & Co.