Text Box: Conductor photographs
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MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
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MINT CONDITION

ISTVÁN KERTÉSZ  - CONDUCTOR

Autographed 3” x 5” original conducting photograph of the tragic Hungarian-German conductor. This image was part of a series of photographs taken of conductors during recording sessions by the British classical record producer James Mallinson. 

 

Kertész (1929-1973) was one of the finest conductors of the 20th Century. Born in Budapest to a Jewish family, he began his music training as a violinist at the age of six. Naturally talented, his parents encourage him in his musical training.  The conductor’s father died in 1938 and in March, 1944 when the Nazi’s marched into Budapest, the family went into hiding.  Determined to further her son’s musical education, she sent her son out to continue his studies privately.  In 1945, the young conductor was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy where he studied composition with Zoltan Kodaly and Leo Weiner and conductor with Janos Ferencsik and Laszlo Sommogyi graduating with a first prize in 1947.  He decided to move forward as a conductor and made his debut in Budapest in 1948.  His first appointment was as Chief Conductor of the Northern Hungarian Győr Philharmonic in 1953.  He moved back to Budapest 2 years later to teach conducting at the Liszt Academy and also conducted at the Budapest Opera until 1956.  He left Hungary with his wife and young son at the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution, settling in Rome at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia where he studied with Bruno Prevatali earning a first and conducting the Conservatory Orchestra, one of the finest in Italy over 40 times.  He then moved to Germany where his wife, a soprano was engaged at various houses around the country. He was hired as a guest conductor at the Hamburg Staatsoper and the opera houses in Wiesbaden and Hanover.  From 1958 to 1963 he was the Generalmusikdirektor of the town of Augsburg.  In 1960 made his first guest appearance in London, the following year he made his American debut.  In March 1962, he made his debut in Tel Aviv with the Israeli Philharmonic.  He had a long association with the orchestra, though never was the Music Director.  In 1964 he was appointed Generalmusikdirektor of the city of Cologne which he held up and to his death. From 1965 to 1968 he was also the Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. The first year he took that orchestra on a world-tour.  Tragically he passed away at the age of forty-four after drowning whilst swimming in Israel.  Further tragedy was the early deaths of his two youngest children in their mid forties and early fifties.

Kertesz is well remembered through his substantial recorded legacy.  His various recordings included a large number of works by, Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart and Schubert.  He also recorded works by Bartok, Beethovem Bruckner, Donizetti, Egyk, Gershwin, Grieg, Haydn, Kodaly, Liszt, Prokofiev, Respighi, Rossini, Schumann, Shostakovich, Smetana, Strauss and Verdi.  His recordings are quite superb and he’s well remembered due to their excellence. 

 

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