A number of violinist-composers lived and composed during the twentieth century, yielding an abundance of notable violin compositions. During the first half of the century, socioeconomic changes brought about by World Wars I and II significantly impacted culture, including violin repertoire by European violinist-composers. Responses to the socioeconomic climate of a given time and place is very likely to be reflected within art, music, and culture of that time and place. In this study, I will focus on the lives and violin compositions of three violinist-composers of the twentieth century, Fritz Kreisler (Austria-Hungary), Eugène Ysaÿe (Belgium), and Grażyna Bacewicz (Poland). The experiences of these violinist-composers evoked unique responses to their surroundings, and understanding their unique circumstances provides insight into the music they composed. The motivation for this study is to examine the violin compositions of three notable twentieth century violinist-composers to gain a deeper understanding of the violin works written by composers who were impacted by the socioeconomic climate of Europe before, during, and between the World Wars. In order to form a comprehensive understanding of this topic, I will be examining the general history of the violin and its construction as it pertains to technique, the progression of technique within violin repertoire leading up to the twentieth century, and the general historical overview of Europe and the specific countries pertaining to the violinist-composers relevant to this study.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2021


Dr. Sila Darville

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level