The founding member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra was 99


György Konrád © Tamás Kaszás/Fidelio

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Hungarian violinist-violist György Konrád has died at the age of 99. Born in 1924 in Szeged, Hungary, he began learning the violin with László Perényi at the age of ten. 

Konrád went on to perform with leading Hungarian orchestras including the Hungarian People’s Army Art Ensemble, the Székesfőváros Orchestra, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Hungarian State Opera House, the Hungarian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and was a founding member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

He was also the violist of the esteemed Tátrai Quartet from 1959, which specialised in the works of Haydn and Bartók as well as championing new works. Konrád taught viola and chamber music at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music from 1983 until 1998.

Many have turned to social media to pay their respects to the Hungarian musician, including the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s music director Iván Fischer, who recalls that Konrád had the good luck to escape from a firing squad lineup in 1944. In another tribute, the Budapest Festival Orchestra remembers Konrád as ‘one of the outstanding, forever-young personalities of the Hungarian musical life… A phenomenal artist, true and faithful friend, large-faced teacher, a real sunny personality.’

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