Text Box: Conductor autographs


Price: sold


Autographed original 3” x 5” photograph, dated 1962 on the verso by the photographer.

This image was part of a series of photographs taken of conductors during recording sessions by the British classical record producer James Mallinson. 


Frigyes (1905-1979) is another musical figure whose career was sidetracked by the Holocaust.  His name translates in English to Frederick Alexander.  His father’s last name was Stern, his mother Seidner, he was born into a Jewish family and due to the rampant anti-Semitism was forced to change his last name in order to be able to have a career in music.  Neither parent was musical to our knowledge, his father owned a chandelier factory in Budapest.  He picked up the violin at a young age and went to the Budapest Academy of Music to study with Hubay pupil Gyula Mambriny and Imre Waldbauer.  In 1926 at nineteen he was hired as the Concertmaster of the Budapest Choral and Orchestral Association.  He was forced to stop playing in the orchestra due to muscle damage in his arm in 1936.  He then directed his vocation to conducting.  He conducted a number of orchestras in Budapest including the Hungarian Women’s Chamber Orchestra.  In 1939, most Jews were dismissed from their positions in the arts and the OMIKE Artists Action was founded to help those musicians to find work.  Like the Kulturbund in Germany there became various Jewish only arts organizations under the auspices of OMIKE including orchestras which performed at a high level.  One of the last concerts before the Germans demanded an end to OMIKE was on December 8, 1941 where Frigyes conducted the Hungarian premiere of Bartok’s final work before he left Hungary for the United States, his famous Divertimento for String Orchestra SZ.113.


Frigyes met the cellist Denes Vera in OMIKE and in 1939 they married in 1940 and went into hiding after the final concert in 1941.  Surviving with the help of friends and false papers, Frigyes went back to the violin in 1945 and taught violin and chamber classes at the Szekesfovaros Higher School of Music and at the National Music Academy.  With the help of several colleagues he published a 5 volume treatise on violin pedagogy in 1949. The same year he was made Director of the Bartok School of Music.  He remained there until 1958 teaching chamber courses and conducting the schools orchestral ensembles.  He then went to teach at the Liszt Conservatory where he was appointed Professor of Chamber Music.  In 1963 his chamber students formed a chamber orchestra and asked him to lead it.  Initially called the Chamber Orchestra of the Franz Liszt Conservatory, after several members graduated the orchestra was renamed The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.  Frigyes built the group into the finest such organization in Hungary and they both recorded and toured significantly.  Interestingly the music most often performed by the orchestra was either Early, Baroque, or 20th Century works.  Interestingly, the available Frigyes recordings with the orchestra today are their Mozart recordings which are often repacked in Mozart sets including “Mozart for Babies”!


A rare autograph of a most interesting conductor.  


Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247