Hungarian pianist, conductor, composer, and teacher. As a pianist his powers were prodigious, while as a composer he drew upon the classical German tradition, especially Brahms. His compositions include Variations on a Nursery Song (1913) and Second Symphony for Orchestra (1948).
Born in Bratislava, he studied under Carl Forstner, the cathedral organist at his native town, until 1893, when he went to the Hungarian Academy in Budapest, where he studied piano under Stephan Thomán and composition under Hans Koessler. In 1897 he had some lessons from Eugen d'Albert and appeared as a pianist in Berlin and Vienna. He visited England in 1898 and the USA in 1899, and made many more tours, but eventually became better known as a composer. From 1908 to 1915 he was professor of piano at the Hochschule in Berlin and in 1919 became conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and director of the city's conservatory. He premiered Béla Bartók's four orchestral pieces in Budapest 1922.
Rumoured to have been friendly with the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s, he left Hungary in 1944 and subsequently settled in the USA.
WorksOperaAunt Simona (Dresden, 1913), The Tower of Voivod (Budapest, 1922), The Tenor (1929).
Orchestral symphonies in F minor, D minor, and E major, suite in F♯ minor and Suite en valse for orchestra; two piano concertos and Variations on a Nursery Song for piano and orchestra (1913); two violin concertos, Concertstück for cello and orchestra.
Chamber three string quartets, piano quintet, sextet for violin, viola, cello, clarinet, horn, and piano, serenade for string trio; sonatas for violin and piano and cello and piano.
Piano 12 Op. nos. of piano music, including a passacaglia, four rhapsodies, Humoresques in Form of a Suite, Ruralia hungarica.
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