Foregoers - Music

Ferenc Liszt

b. Doborjan, Hungary (now Raiding, Austria) 10/22/1811; d. Bayreuth, 7/31/1886, Germany Composer He was taught to play the piano by his father and then Czerny, establishing himself as a remarkable concert artist by the age of 12. He gave concerts around the whole world, but was active as a composer. The greatest pianist of his time, he […]

Béla Bartók

b. 3/25/1881, Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary, d. 9/26/1945, New York Composer Béla Bartók was one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century. His music was invigorated by the themes, modes, and rhythmic patterns of the Hungarian and other folk music traditions he studied, which he synthesized with influences from his contemporaries into his own distinctive […]

Zoltán Kodály

b. 12/16/1882 Kecskemét, Hungary, d. 3/6/1967, Budapest Composer Along with Bartók and Ligeti, Zoltán Kodály is one of the three major figures in Hungarian music of the last century. Kodály’s many compositions show a strong affinity with the folk traditions of his country and include ballad operas, orchestral works, chamber music, choral works, songs, folk song […]

Sir Georg Solti

b. 10/21/1912, Budapest, Hungary, d. 9/5/1997, Antibes, France Conductor Born György Stein, Solti studied piano and composition with Ernst von Dohnányi, Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. For almost twenty-five years, he concentrated entirely on conducting operas. In 1969 he took over as director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra […]

Georges Cziffra

b. 11/05/1921, Budapest, d. 01/15/1994 in Morsang-sur-Orge, France Pianist Born Cziffra György, he became one of the most celebrated and individual piano virtuosos in the post-War decades in Europe, especially noted for his powers of improvisation and as a Liszt pianist. He grew up in a musician gypsy family, and by the age of five he was […]

Joseph Szigeti

b. 9/5/1892 Budapest, Hungary d. 2/19/1973 Lucerne, Switzerland. Violinist He began his studies at a local music school; while still a child, he was placed in the advanced class of Hubay at the Budapest Academy of Music; then made his debut in Berlin at age 13. He settled in Switzerland in 1913; was a professor at […]

Miklós Rózsa

b. 4/18/1907 Budapest, Hungary, d. 7/27/1995 Los Angeles, CA Composer Studying in the Leipzig Conservatory he started out composing classical music before quickly moving into the cinema world. He studied in London at Trinity College and some of his earliest film music work was in Britain acting as musical director and composer for Sir Alexander Korda […]

Andre Watts

b. 6/20/1946, Nürnberg, Germany Pianist The first African-American concert pianist to achieve international superstardom. André Watts is the son of an American career soldier stationed in Germany and a Hungarian refugee. Watts began studying the violin at age four. By the time he was six he made it known that his preference was for the piano, […]

Zoltán Rozsnyai

b. 1/29/1926, Budapest, Hungary  d. 9/10/1990, San Diego, CA Conductor He is a graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied under Kodaly, Bartok, and Dohnanyi, among others. In 1954, he became permanent conductor of the Hungarian National Philharmonia Concert Organization.  In May 1956, he was awarded a prize at the International Conductor’s […]

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