Sándor Végh

May 17, 1912. Kolozsvár – ­ January 7, 1997. Salzburg
Végh Sándor (Fotó: Zeneakadémia képgyűjteménye, Felvégi Andrea fotó)
Végh Sándor
(Fotó: Zeneakadémia
Felvégi Andrea fotó)
The world-famous violinist, chamber music professor and first violinist of quartets was a student of Zsolt Nándor between 1924 and 1929 and then Jenő Hubay between 1929 and 1931 at the violin division of the Academy of Music, as well as studying composition in the academic year of 1928/1929 with Zoltán Kodály, as well. He was a violin professor at the Academy of Music from l94l to 1946, until he left Hungary.
Sándor Végh established the Új Magyar Vonósnégyes (New Hungarian Quartet) in 1935, and participated in the premiere of String Quartet No. 5 of Bartók in 1936. However following that Zoltán Székely took over the first violin position in 1937, Sándor Végh established his own quartet with Sándor Zöldi, György Janzer and Pál Szabó in 1940 that moved to Basel in 1946. The Végh Quartet consisting of all excellent soloists gained great successes world-wide: they won first prize at the Concours international d'exécution musicale de Geneve in 1946, and then made several tours in Europe as well as North and South America, and made a number of recordings. Practically all the works of the quartet literature were included in their repertoire; they performed the complete string quartets of Beethoven and Bartók in sequences.
Parallel with that Sándor Végh had a significant international career as a soloist, as well (one of his specialties was to perform the complete works of Bach for solo violin), holding his instrument until a high age.
He utilized his experiences gained in his career as a performer in his work as a pedagogue that became more and more significant. He taught in Basel, Freiburg, Düsseldorf and Salzburg, as well as at the courses in Zermatt supported by Casals. He gave master classes also at the Academy of Music in Budapest in the 1980s. However he reached the peak of his pedagogic work undoubtedly with the establishment of the Camerata Academica consisting of the actual students of the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 1978. In the last period of his life he performed world-wide with great success and made several recordings with the chamber orchestra faithfully preserving the Austrian performing traditions, among others the series of the piano concertos of Mozart with András Schiff that was absolutely authoritative.
Fortunately the audience in Budapest could be involved several times in that special experience which Sándor Végh presented them, leading the Camerata Academica ‘…the Mozart-soirée of the Camerata Academica Salzburg with the coaching and leading of Sándor Végh at the Academy of Music was one of the most inspired that we have ever heard in the Hungarian capital. I do not use the world conducting because its professional meaning today is different from that the eighty years-old artist makes heading his ensemble… with his educated ones, leading the Camerata Academica based on twenty-two strings he does not have to act as a conductor but he can appear as one of the most significant musician personalities of our age and as a wonderful chamber music professor. Just as during the preparation of a string quartet the interpretations are elaborated to the smallest details, the interplay-directing part of which is done by the excellent first violinist with his violin held high under his chin quasi in a supplementary function, so that Sándor Végh on the conductor's stand, as a sort of Angel Guardian, could provide the circulation and breathing of the work and musical processes with his typical shoulder, elbow and wrist signs that are never sharp or stinging, always representing the bow, the ceaselessly singing tone, the dolce fundamental note of the Mozartian-Schubertian music.' ‘Incredibly high level, complex and imaginative interpretation ... The richness of articulation of the music is unimaginable… the intensity and fire is provided by Sándor Végh to the orchestra performing with great flexibility, his flaring vitalizes the tempo characters, just as his humanity, culture, hearing conjures the tied melodic lines orchestrated to the woodwinds to small Benedictuses from evening to evening.' (From the criticisms of György Kroó in 1993 and 1994.)
P. J.


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