Our task is to form veritable talents who possess the necessary gifts to become masters, without attending to the ungifted mediocrity.

Liszt to Giovanni Sgambati
Edith Farnadi

Edith Farnadi

25 September 1921, Budapest – 14 December 1973, Graz 

Edith Farnadi began to play the piano at the age of seven. By the age of nine she was Arnold Székely's pupil at the Music Academy, where Bartók also gave her lessons. She learned chamber music from Leo Weiner. Her first public appearance was at the age of nine; by the time she was twelve, she appeared as the soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C Major. She won Liszt scholarships on two occasions. In the thirties she acted as piano accompanist and chamber music partner in Jenő Hubay's master classes. She also partnered Richard Strauss, Bronislaw Hubermann and Ede Zathureczky at Hubay's famous by invitation only concerts. She received her piano artist's diploma in 1938.
In 1946 she went to live in Austria. From 1950 onwards she gave a growing number of concerts, first in Western Europe and then all over the world. She worked with such conductors as Clemens Krauss, Karl Böhm, Hermann Scherchen, Ernest Ansermet, Adrian Boult and Wolfgang Sawallisch. She performed as soloist regularly with the Vienna, Berlin and London Philharmonics, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Suisse Romande orchestra. The chief characteristics of her playing were explosive temperament and superior virtuosity.
Many recordings were made with her, especially by Deutsche Grammophon and Decca. She recorded virtually all of Bartók's and Kodály's piano works, Bartók's sonata for violin and piano, with Tibor Varga, as well as many compositions by Liszt, Chopin, Schumann, Tschaikovsky, Prokofiev and others. On one of her best know recordings she played Bartók's Piano Concertos 2. and 3. with Hermann Scherchen and the orchestra of the Vienna Opera House. The recording of Liszt's Sonata in B minor and two of his piano concertos was published by Westminster Records of New York.
From the 1960's onwards she gave guest performances in Hungary as well. In the last decade of her life she taught in Graz. Edith Farnadi died at the age of fifty-two.
J. Ma.