Famous Hungarian Conductors

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 1 
Franz Liszt
(Composer, Pianist and Teacher of the Romantic Era)
Franz Liszt
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Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raiding, Austria
Died: July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, conductor, arranger, music teacher, and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. Considered one of the greatest pianists ever, Liszt's works influenced his contemporaries and successors alike. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his work as a teacher, although his rich body of work might suggest otherwise; he taught people like Karl Klindworth among other pianists.

 2 
Georg Solti
(Hungarian-British Orchestral and Operatic Conductor Who has appeared With Opera Companies in Munich, Frankfurt and London)
Georg Solti
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Birthdate: October 21, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 5, 1997

Georg Solti was an operatic and orchestral conductor. He is best remembered for his association with opera companies in London, Frankfurt, and Munich. He also worked with the popular Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he served as a music director for a long time. Solti became the subject of a 1987 biographical TV documentary titled This Is Your Life.

 3 
Miklós Rózsa
(Composer)
Miklós Rózsa
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Birthdate: April 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 27, 1995

Born in Hungary, Miklós Rózsa was a music prodigy and learned to play the violin at age 5. After studying music in Germany, he pursued his music career in France, the UK, and the US. He is remembered for his Academy Award-winning scores in movies such as Ben-Hur and Spellbound.

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 4 
Andras Schiff
(Pianist)
Andras Schiff
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Birthdate: December 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Born to Holocaust survivors, Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff began learning the piano at age 5. He is now best known for his interpretations of legends such as of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. His numerous awards include a Grammy. He was also knighted for his achievements.

 5 
Eugene Ormandy
(Former Conductor best known for his association with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as its music director)
Eugene Ormandy
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Birthdate: November 18, 1899
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: March 12, 1985

Born in Hungary, Eugene Ormandy was inspired by his amateur violinist father to take up violin lessons as a child. By age 17, he was himself a professor of violin. After moving to the US, he would initially compose for silent films. He later received 2 Grammy Awards and was also knighted.

 6 
Julius Fučík
(Composer)
Julius Fučík
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Birthdate: July 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Town, Prague, Czech Republic
Died: September 25, 1916

Legendary Czech composer Julius Fučík, also known as the Bohemian Sousa, initially played the bassoon for the Austro-Hungarian Regiment and then bagged a job with the German opera theater in Prague. His best-known marches include the Florentine March and Entrance of the Gladiators. He spent his final years in Berlin.

 7 
Zoltán Kocsis
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Birthdate: May 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: November 6, 2016

Hungarian musical legend Zoltán Kocsis, often compared to American conductor Leonard Bernstein, had started learning the piano at age 5. While he later soared to fame with concerts and music festivals, he later won accolades for his recordings of Béla Bartók and Debussy. He also later co-established the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

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 8 
Leopold Auer
(Composer, Conductor, Violinist)
Leopold Auer
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Birthdate: June 7, 1845
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Veszprém, Hungary
Died: July 15, 1930

Legendary Hungarian-American violinist and composer Leopold Auer was born into a family of painters but chose to learn the violin instead. He initially played for the music-loving bling king of Hanover and later taught violin at Russia’s Saint Petersburg Conservatory. His students include Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz.

 9 
Joseph Joachim
(Violinist Known for His Interpretations of Works of Bach, Mozart & Beethoven)
Joseph Joachim
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Birthdate: June 28, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kittsee, Austria
Died: August 15, 1907

Hungarian violinist and composer Joseph Joachim was trained in Budapest and London before he became the director of the Hochschule für Ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin. He formed the Joachim Quartet and gained fame as a music teacher. He is best known for his versions of works by legends such as Beethoven.

 10 
Ivan Fischer
(Conductor)
Ivan Fischer
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Birthdate: January 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Apart from establishing the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hungarian composer and conductor Iván Fischer also served as its music director. His work has taken him to places such as the US, the Netherlands, and Germany. He has also arranged innovative events, such as autism-friendly concerts and cocoa concerts for kids.

 11 
Antal Doráti
(Hungarian-American Conductor and Composer Known for His Recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Music)
Antal Doráti
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Birthdate: April 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: November 13, 1988

Hungarian-American conductor Antal Dorati was the son of a violinist father and a pianist mother. Joining the Liszt Academy at 14, he graduated to teach at the Budapest Royal Opera. Throughout his illustrious career, he was associated with many orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

 12 
Ernst von Dohnányi
(Hungarian Composer, Pianist and Conductor)
Ernst von Dohnányi
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Birthdate: July 27, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
Died: February 9, 1960

The son of a math professor and an amateur cellist father, Ernő Dohnányi was taught the basics of music by his father at age 8. While he later taught in Berlin and Budapest, he was banned in Hungary for a decade by the communists. He later taught in Argentina and then the US.

 13 
Ferenc Erkel
(Composer)
Ferenc Erkel
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Birthdate: November 7, 1810
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gyula, Hungary
Died: June 15, 1893

Regarded as the founding father of Hungary’s grand opera, pianist and conductor Ferenc Erkel also composed Hungary’s national anthem. Born into a German-origin family of musicians, Erkel was initially trained in music by his father. He was later associated with the Academy of Music in Budapest as a director and piano teacher.

 14 
Ferenc Fricsay
(Conductor)
Ferenc Fricsay
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Birthdate: August 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 20, 1963

Over his illustrious career of almost 2 decades, Hungarian conductor Ferenc Fricsay became one of the greatest conductors of his time. After studying scores of instruments such as the piano, violin, and clarinet, he had started conducting at age 15. Mozart’s The Magic Flute remains his best-known recording.

 15 
Arthur Nikisch
(Conductor)
Arthur Nikisch
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Birthdate: October 12, 1855
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lebenyi Szentmiklos, Hungary
Died: January 23, 1922

One of the greatest 19th-century conductors, Arthur Nikisch was born to a Hungarian father and a Czech mother. Excelling as a student at the Vienna Conservatory, he later joined the Vienna Philharmonic. He was later associated with top-notch orchestras in Berlin, Budapest, and Boston. He also conducted the Ring Cycle operas.

 16 
Géza Anda
(One of the Most Admired Pianists of His Day Known for His Classical and Romantic-Era Interpretations)
Géza Anda
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Birthdate: November 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 14, 1976

Best remembered for his interpretations of Mozart, Hungarian pianist and conductor Geza Anda was associated with the Berlin Philharmonic but later moved to Switzerland and became a Swiss citizen. His music was known for its signature sentimental appeal and also consisted of Anda’s own cadenzas.

 17 
György Fischer
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Birthdate: August 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 25, 2020

Hungarian pianist György Fischer was initially associated with the Vienna Opera, specializing in the works of Mozart. The Franz Liszt Academy alumnus later also performed at the Australian Opera and was the principal conductor at the Oper Koln Opera. He was married first to singer Lucia Popp and then to violinist Ida Bieler. 

 18 
Janos Furst
(Conductor)
Janos Furst
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Birthdate: August 8, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hungary
Died: January 3, 2007

Hungarian-born violinist Janos Furst fled his country after the 1956 Soviet invasion and moved to Brussels and then to Paris. He then dominated the Irish music scene by establishing the Irish Chamber Orchestra and was the principal conductor at the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra. He also taught at the Paris Conservatoire.