Friday, October 5, 2012

Lorand Fenyves

Lorand Fenyves was a Hungarian violinist and teacher born (in Budapest) on February 20, 1918.  He is known for having spent much of his career in Canada and is credited with helping establish an entire generation of musicians in that country.  His teachers in Hungary included Jeno Hubay and Zoltan Kodaly, internationally known violinist and composer, respectively.  Though he made his professional debut at age 13, he graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy in 1934, at age 16.  Two years later, having been recruited by Bronislaw Huberman, he left Europe for Israel to become a founding member of the Palestine Symphony (Israel Philharmonic.)  He soon became its concertmaster.  He was 18 years old.  In 1940, he helped found the Israel Conservatory and Academy of Music in Tel Aviv.  He also organized the Israel String Quartet, originally known as the Fenyves String Quartet.  He moved to Switzerland in 1957 (at age 39) where he was concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and violin professor at the Geneva Conservatory.  He visited Canada in the summer of 1963.  The following year, he accepted a one-year position at the University of Toronto.  He actually remained there until his retirement in 1983.  In 2003, the University gave a recital in honor of his 85th birthday – a common thing for universities to do for their revered music professors.  After his retirement from the University of Toronto, Fenyves began teaching (in 1985) at the University of Western Ontario.  Nevertheless, he also gave masterclasses at music centers around the world and performed as violin soloist with well-known conductors and orchestras numerous times.  You can listen to Fenyves play a Bach Sonata in this YouTube audio file, recorded when he was about 70 years old.  Among his pupils are Tasmin Little, Elissa Lee, Scott St John, and Lynn Kuo.  Fenyves died (in Zurich, Switzerland) on March 23, 2004, at age 86.  The 1720 (circa 1720) Stradivarius violin which he owned – now known as the Fenyves Strad – was sold at auction in 2006 for about $1,500,000 USD.  Fenyves had purchased it in 1961.  

1 comment:

  1. Lorand Fenyves is mentioned prominently in the movie about the Palestine Symphony and Bronislaw Huberman, "Orchestra of Exiles."