Violin Concertos for Intermediate Students

Updated on April 8, 2020
dumdummy profile image

Tong Keat has an M.A. in Violin Performance from MTSU, TN. He is the founder of Just Violin—a free resources site for violinists.

The 19th century was a high time for public concerts, and that, in turn, created the demand for music lessons. Music teachers in that era were mostly composers and performers themselves. They composed pedagogical pieces for their students, to be used as learning material and also for performance.

The violin concerto was one of the most-favored genres in that era, and there were undoubtedly some very well-written student concertos composed for teaching. These pieces were often composed in keys that sounded more resonant on the violin (G major, D major, A minor, etc.) and employed fingerings and bowings that are natural to the hands of violinists while retaining the virtuosic character of a concerto.

As violinists, we all dream of playing the great concertos of the Romantic era. However, without proper intermediate-level repertoire to bridge the gap, young students attempting these challenging pieces too early may struggle and develop bad habits that hinder their progress. Teachers need to be informed of these repertoires, and use them as a tool to help the students to develop their technique and musicality naturally.

The concertos listed below represent some of the student-level repertoire that are available to us. For more advanced repertoire, go to Violin Concertos for Pre-Advanced Students.

Oskar Rieding (1840-1916)

Rieding was an important violin pedagogue who composed a handful of works for the violin. Among his more popular compositions, the first movement of Concerto in G major, Op.24 was included in Barbara Barber's Solos for Young Violinists, Vol.2, a popular compilation of great violin literature preferred by many teachers.

  • Violin Concerto in B minor, Op.35

This three-movement concerto is among a few that can be played entirely in the first position. However, students who have learned to shift can explore playing in other positions to achieve a more expressive performance.

  • Violin Concerto in A minor in Hungarian Style, Op.21

This single-movement concerto is full of characters! The Hungarian style is especially recognizable in its bold rhythmic motive at the opening. The middle section carries the flair of Gypsy music. The idiomatic writing for the violin makes it a delightful piece to play.

Concertino Op.21 - Rieding

Friedrich Seitz (1848-1918)

Seitz was a German violinist and composer who wrote a great deal of chamber music, and on top of that, eight important student concertos for the violin.

Seitz concertos are no stranger to Suzuki teachers and students. The first movement of Concerto No.5 is the audition repertoire to Suzuki's teacher training for the Suzuki Association of America. Also included in Suzuki Violin School, Vol.4 are the third movements of Concerto No.2 and No.5. The first movement of Concerto No.3 was included in Barbara Barber's Solos for Young Violinists, Vol. 2.

Each concerto varies in difficulties and the positions of shifting involved; students should select one that corresponds with their current levels.

The Eight Student Concertos:

  1. D major, Op.7
  2. G major, Op.13 -1st position only
  3. G minor, Op.12 -1st to 3rd positions
  4. D major, Op.15 -1st to 3rd positions
  5. D major, Op.22 -1st position only
  6. G major, Op.31
  7. D minor, Op.32
  8. A major, Op.51

Concerto No.5 - Seitz

Leo Portnoff (1875-1940)

Portnoff was a Ukrainian violinist and composer who has resided and worked in Germany and the United States. As a relatively unknown composer, some of his works include a couple of Russian Fantasias and Violin Concertinos.

  • Concertino in A minor, Op.14

This single-movement concertino is an excellent training piece to build dexterity and stamina in young players. It requires shifting up to the 3rd position. There are no short of expressive moments throughout the piece as it moves continuously from one section to another, alternating between charming melodies and thrilling passages. The lyrical parts that are full of Romantic idioms require careful bow distribution and expressive vibrato. Meanwhile, the exciting passageworks require good coordination between the hands and also in string crossings.

Concertino Op.14 - Portnoff

Hans Sitt (1850-1922)

Jan Hanuš Sitt was better known as Hans Sitt. He was a Bohemian violinist, composer, and an important violin pedagogue who served as the faculty of Leipzig Conservatory. Sitt was perhaps better known for his wide range of etudes or technical studies, but he also composed several violin concertos and concertinos.

  • Concertino in E minor, Op.31

This concertino is rather demanding as it is a full-length three movements work, with all movements being connected. It is played only in the first to third positions, as indicated in the title. Despite that, the music is technically complex as it encompasses a wide range of bowings and articulations. There are also many instances of extended etude-like passage, something that can be found in a lot of his works.

Hans Sitt
Hans Sitt

Jean-Baptiste Accolay (1833-1900)

Accolay was a Belgian violinist and composer, his Concerto in A minor has perhaps overshadowed the composer himself. This concerto was also included in Barbara Barber's Solos for Young Violinists, Vol.3.

  • Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor

This is a single-movement concerto. It is one of the most popular student-level concertos. The soloist enters with grand arpeggio-like statements, which followed shortly after by a highly evocative and lyrical second theme. The virtuosic passages are no less appealing than any of those from the standard concertos.

Concerto No.1 - Accolay

List of other composers who composed student-level concertos:

  • Ferdinand Küchler
  • Adolf Huber
  • Richard Hofmann
  • František Drdla

"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin." - Albert Einstein

© 2017 Goh Tong Keat


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Sarah Westwick 

      23 months ago

      Grazyna Bacewicz also wrote a lovely Concertino which only goes up to 3rd position, and is in the grade 5 repertoire list for the Canadian RCM exams. The music is available on SheetMusicPlus, and there are some decent videos of students plying it on YouTube.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Nice article


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)