In Memoriam (1931–2018)
Shirley Givens was born in Canton, Ohio. Her early violin training was in Hollywood, where she appeared frequently in movies and short subjects. Her concert debut was at age 11, playing the Mendelssohn Concerto, followed by recital and orchestral appearances throughout the U.S. After graduating from Juilliard, where her teachers were the famed Ivan Galamian in violin and the original Juilliard String Quartet in chamber music, she launched her adult career as a well-known performer and teacher.
Highlights of her career include performances at a White House Gala and State Dinner and on ABC and CBS television networks; master classes at Yale Graduate School of Music and at Eastman, SUNY-Purchase, Aguascalientes (Mexico), Melbourne, and Sydney (Australia) as guest of the AUSTA Celebration; solo and chamber music appearances at the Victoria (Canada) International Music Festival, Festival Casals (Puerto Rico), Fontainebleau (France) Music Festival, Heifetz Institute, and the Augustus Juilliard centennial anniversary celebration.
Givens’s numerous students include Pamela Frank, Joseph Lin, and David Kim. Her students have won major competitions and performed in master classes taught by Milstein, Perlman, Stern, and Zukerman.
She was director of the first Aspen (Colo.) Festival String Workshop with Dorothy DeLay, Itzak Perlman, and Isaac Stern participating. She was visiting professor at the Ecole Americaine, Fontainebleau (France), and at the InterHarmony Festivals in Germany and Italy. Her honors include the MacDowell Special Award for Excellence in Music, President McKinley Ohio Wall of Fame, and the U.S. Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award.
In addition to her work at Juilliard, Givens is on the faculty of Mannes College the New School and the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University (emeritus).