I first heard Shumsky after Broadus Erle was diagnosed with serious cancer. They brought in several of Broadus' old friends, including Joseph Silverstein and Oscar Shumsky, to Yale to do master classes (auditioning for Broadus' job, but, it was great for him to see his old friends and have a chance to introduce his students to a new teacher). Anyway, Broadus wanted Shumsky to do a class on the music of Fritz Kreisler, as Broadus felt that Shumsky could play Kreisler like Kreisler. I had to agree. He brought two instruments with him, a beautiful Strad, and an an Enrico Rocca that put it to shame.

Shumsky had a habit (at Curtis) to walk into violinists's and violists's practice rooms and pick up their instruments and play whatever they were working on better than they could. Obnoxious on one level, but inspiring on another, as his abilities outshined all but the greatest. Of course, Gould had issues, too. But there is, nonetheless, something of genius here.