Liszt is to piano playing what Euclid is to geometry.

Alan Walker

Sándor Devich dies

25 January 2016

Liszt Academy bids farewell to the violinist and professor emeritus of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, who passed away at the age of 81, in the words of academy president Dr. Andrea Vigh.

Sándor Devich, professor emeritus of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, passed away on the afternoon of 20 January. The fact that he was a Liszt- and Bartók-Pásztory laureate, and that he was awarded the Kossuth Prize on two occasions, reveals at most his remarkable artistic and teaching activities recognized by the world of music, but it says nothing of the person we have lost. He graduated from the Liszt Academy as a student of Ede Zathureczky, he was a founding member of the Bartók String Quartet, which he quit after 25 extraordinarily successful years in order to devote his life to teaching. He started teaching at the Liszt Academy in 1981, bringing up generations of artists in string performance and chamber music, and more importantly, through these, a love of life. He shared his outstanding artistic experiences and wisdom not only directly with his students but also with readers of his publications and books. In an interview last autumn he said: “I received two lives: 25 fantastic years with the quartet and, thank God, another 25 years teaching, which has been the greatest of joys. It occasionally happens even now that my former or newer students will come to me and ask whether I will listen to them. I really like that. I can’t take up an instrument any more, but I’m not despondent: thanks to God’s grace I have had a beautiful 50 years with music, I can’t complain.” We have lost a true master in the classical sense of the word in Sándor Devich, whose legacy will determine the spirit of the Liszt Academy for many decades to come. We will miss his optimism, his musicality, his faith in art. Rest in Peace, Professor.

Dr. Andrea Vigh

President of the Liszt Academy

 

The Liszt Academy will manage the funeral arrangements for Sándor Devich.

 

 

Sándor Devich was awarded a violin teaching degree with honours at the Liszt Academy in 1959. From 1957 he travelled throughout Hungary and the world as a concert artist member of the State Concert Orchestra, the Hungarian Chamber Orchestra and the Komlós, then Bartók String Quartet. The first major international success with the Bartók String Quartet came in 1964 at the International Chamber Music and String Quartet Competition in Liege. The ensemble rapidly became a regular guest at many of the big-name festivals, including appearances in front of audiences in Adelaide, Aldeburgh, Ascona, Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Menton, Prague Spring, Spoleto and Venice. Extremely important chapters in the work of the Bartók String Quartet are the entire string quartets of Beethoven and Bartók, as well as Brahms chamber music for strings and piano, quartets, quintets and sextets. Indeed, the ensemble recorded collections of works by these three composers in the studio of Hungaroton. In 1981, teaching moved to the forefront of Sándor Devich’s life: he became a professor of the Liszt Academy, a year later he left the string quartet, while from 1983 for nearly a decade he was soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In 1985 he published a book on the string quartet genre (republished in 2005), and he held many courses. In 1965 he was awarded the Liszt Prize, in 1970 the Kossuth Prize, in 1981 he was made an Artist of Merit as a member of the Bartók String Quartet. His work was recognized in 1986 with the Bartók-Pásztory Prize, in 2005 he was presented with the Honourable Order of the Cross of the Republic of Hungary (civil), and in 2006 he received the Weiner Leó Prize. He was a professor emeritus of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music from 2006.