(John) Otto Armin. Violinist, teacher, b Winnipeg 22 May 1943. He studied 1946-54 with his father, Jay, 1954-61 with Carl Chase in Detroit, 1962-4 with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, and 1967-70 with Lorand Fenyves in Toronto. As first violin with the Armin String Quartet 1955-63 he made two Canadian tours and often performed on CBC radio and TV. In 1961 the quartet studied on scholarship at Indiana University, serving also as resident quartet. Individually, all four members also played several seasons with the NYO. Armin won the first prize in the CBC Talent Festival (1965) and took third place in the Jan Sibelius International Violin Competition (Helsinki 1971) and sixth place in the Carl Flesch International Competition (London 1972). He taught 1967-70 at the CMM, 1968-74 at McGill University, and 1974-8 for the NYO. After his professional debut, with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in 1964, he played 1964-5 in the Cleveland Orchestra and the Stratford Festival orchestra and 1966-9 in the MSO, and was concertmaster 1967-9 with the CBC Montreal orchestra and 1974-7 with the Hamilton Philharmonic.
He became first concertmaster with the Hamburg Philharmonic in 1977 and concertmaster with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra in 1980. A soloist with several Canadian orchestras, he gave recitals in Europe, and in 1976 with pianist Marie-Paule Hudon, he made a cultural exchange tour of Belgium and France. He played ca 1976-7 with the Armin Electric Strings before moving permanently to Germany in 1977. He played Berg's Violin Concerto with the Orchestre métropolitain January 1990 and Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor with the Hamilton Philharmonic in June 1991. He also played with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble under Raffi Armenian and in 1990 toured in Europe and Asia. Armin has played many 20th-century works - eg, Schoenberg's Phantasy, Prokofiev's Suite, Opus 6, and Sonatas No. 1 and 2, Stravinsky's Divertissement, and Pépin'sMonade IV: Réseaux (the premiere, with Hudon, at Redpath Hall, McGill University, in 1974). He also, however, has shown a predilection for short 19th-century pieces for violin and orchestra (eg, Chausson's Poème, Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso ).
See also Paul Armin, Richard Armin, and Adele Armin (his siblings).