Legendary Violinists back to intro
Joseph Szigeti Joseph Szigeti

Birth: September 05, 1892 in Budapest, Hungary

Death: February 19, 1973 in Lucerne

Nationality: American

Occupation: violinist, teacher

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Classical Notes: Reviews: Sonata Recital: Joseph Szigeti and Bela Bartok

Szigeti, Joseph, eminent Hungarian-born American violinist and teacher; b. Budapest, Sept. 5, 1892; d. Lucerne, Feb. 19, 1973.

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 made his first appearance in London when he was 15; subsequently toured England in concerts with Busoni; then settled in Switzerland in 1913; was a professor at the Geneva Conservatory (1917-25). He made an auspicious U.S. debut playing the Beethoven Concerto with Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra at N.Y.'s Carnegie Hall (Dec. 15, 1925); thereafter he toured the U.S. regularly while continuing to appear in Europe. With the outbreak of World War II, he went to the U.S. (1940), becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1951. After the end of the war, he resumed his international career; settled again in Switzerland in 1960 and gave master classes. Szigeti was an artist of rare intellect and integrity; he eschewed the role of the virtuoso, placing himself totally at the service of the music. In addition to the standard repertoire, he championed the music of many 20th-century composers, including Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, Prokofiev, Honegger, Bloch, and Martin. He wrote the books WITH STRINGS ATTACHED (N.Y., 1947), A VIOLINIST'S NOTEBOOK (London, 1965), and SZIGETI ON THE VIOLIN: IMPROVISATIONS ON A VIOLINIST'S THEMES (N.Y., 1969).

Source: "Joseph Szigeti." BAKER'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS®, Centennial Edition. Nicolas Slonimsky, Editor Emeritus. Schirmer, 2001. Reprinted by permission of The Gale Group.

Photo: Photofest.

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