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Award-Winning Hungarian Violinist Péter Komlós Passes Away at 81

Tom Szigeti 2017.05.03.

According to Hungarian wire-service MTI, two-time Kossuth award-winning violinist Péter Komlós died early yesterday morning at age 81. His family informed MTI of the musician’s passing.

Komlós was born in Budapest in 1935, and studied at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music between 1950 and 1956. In 1957, he founded the Komlós String Quartet with three of his friends from school.

This group, in which he was the first violinist, was rechristened as the Bartok String Quartet in 1963, and achieved its first international success the next year, when it won first place at the Liege international contest. Over the course of its more than 50 years of existence, the quartet performed over 4000 concerts around the world, in the finest venues of Europe, North America, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand.

In Komlós’ view, a musician doesn’t have a responsibility to anyone other than himself and the composer; in addition, he or she has a duty to play equally well for every audience.

The violin virtuoso was concert master at the Budapest Opera House between 1960 and 1989, and from 1982 was an associated professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, where he taught for decades.

From 1987 on, he performed on a Stradivarius violin owned by the Hungarian government. This instrument, constructed in 1731, is valued at approximately 4 million euros.

Among his many awards, Komlós received the Liszt Ferenc Prize in 1964, and his first Kossuth Prize in 1970. Later on, in 1997, he won another Kossuth Prize, which was shared with the other members of the Bartok String Quartet.

Via MTI and Hungary Matters

Image via MTI