Kamilló Lendvay (1928–2016)

05. December 2016

The Kossuth Prize-winning Eminent Artist, three-times Erkel Prize- and Béla Bartók-Ditta Pásztory prize winning composer, Kamilló Lendvay passed away just four weeks before his 88th birthday.

His initial career in the 1950s was highly influenced by Bartók’ music, then thanks to the Polish school, he gradually developed his own voice.  His works range from operas (The Respectful Prostitute was highly praised in Paris, while The Magic Chair was exceedingly successful in Görlitz), to a chain of oratorical works (Scenes - cantata to the texts from the tetralogy 'Joseph and His Brothers' by Thomas Mann; Via Crucis, Stabat mater) to orchestral pieces (Mauthausen; Four invocations, The Harmony of Silence) to concertos for various instruments, such as piano, violin, cello (his Pezzo concertato for violoncello and orchestra won second prize at the Trieste International Composers' Competition), cimbalom, trumpet and saxophone, a rich inventory of chamber music pieces and sophisticated choral works. He frequently played solo piano in his Concertino for Piano, Winds and Harp.

Lendvay conducted the orchestra of the Budapest Operetta and Music Theatre and acted as the music director of the Budapest Puppet Theatre in its golden age, in the early 1960s. He was appointed to be the Head of the Music Theory Department and the compulsory composition professor of conductors at the Liszt Academy. He greatly contributed to the organisation and coordination of Hungarian music life: Kamilló Lendvay was the president of Artisjus, (Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors’ Rights), of the Hungarian Composers’ Union and acted as proof-reader of the Hungarian Radio.

He will be sadly missed not only for his multifaceted talent but also for his attractive personality.

His farewell ceremony will be arranged at a later date.