Yavet Boyadjiev focuses on two principal areas of research: string pedagogy and the life and works of José White, Cuba’s greatest violin virtuoso.
Both interests intersect in her doctoral dissertation “José White Laffita (1835-1918): A Biography and a Study of his Six Études, op. 13.” This two-part dissertation traces the life of the noted nineteenth-century violinist and provides a detailed pedagogical analysis of his Six Études, which hold the distinction of having being formally accepted as teaching material at the Paris Conservatory, in 1868. The dissertation is the most comprehensive study of White available in English, and contains plenty of documentary evidence in an effort to provide the most accurate information about White in the literature. It was nominated for City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center’s Barry Brook Award in 2015, and is available to read online through ProQuest Dissertations.
José Silvestre de los Dolores White Laffita (1835-1918), also known as Joseph White, is widely acknowledged as Cuba’s greatest violin virtuoso. Born of African and French heritage into a slave-owning society, his precocious talents nevertheless brought him to study at the Paris Conservatoire. After winning the Conservatoire’s Premier Prix in 1856, he went on to have an international career that gained him a place among the best-regarded violinists of his generation—as well as one of the leading exponents of the French School of violin playing—both in Europe and the Americas.
A violinist and composer in the nineteenth-century bravura tradition, White was also a highly effective violin pedagogue. His legacy as a teacher was considerable, and among his best-known pupils were Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953), and the Romanian violinist-pianist-composer George Enescu (1881-1955). He was also the music teacher of the Imperial Family of Brazil.
Currently, Dr. Boyadjiev is preparing José White’s full-length biography.