The legacy of Hungarian conductors: HANS RICHTER

Hans Richter (1843 – 1916) was chosen in 1876 to conduct the first complete performance of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus and since then he premiered many Richard Wagner’s operas.

He was associated with Hallé Orchestra (1899–1911) and London Symphony Orchestra (1904–1911).

He wasn’t afraid to experiment: he realized an English-language production of The Ring at Covent Garden in 1908 and gave prémieres of many symphonic works by Brahms, Elgar, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky and Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Also M° Győriványi Ráth György will to experiment for the sake of art is remarkable, for example as music director of the Hungarian State Opera he created the first 3D performance of an opera in the world: Béla Bartok’s Bluebird’s castle and managed the Opera House over the past 15 years.


The legacy of Hungarian conductors: ARTHUR NIKISCH

Arthur  Nikisch (1855 – 1922) is considered by many the founder of modern conducting, with deep analysis of the score, a simple beat, and a great charisma.

Nikisch’s conducting style was greatly admired by Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Sir Adrian Boult, Fritz Reiner, Ervin Nyiregyházi, and many others.

Arthur Nikisch had a huge impact on Wilhelm Furtwängler. The latter always considered Nikisch as his single model. Nikisch supported Furtwängler at the beginning of his career and predicted that he would be his successor.

He was a pioneer in several ways. In April 1912 he took the London Symphony Orchestra to the United States, a first for a European orchestra.

On 10 November 1913, Nikisch made one of the earliest recordings of a complete symphony, Beethoven’s 5th, with the Berlin Philharmonic, a performance later reissued on LP and CD by DGG and other modern labels.

He was Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and of Berliner Philharmoniker, and as well as Hungarian Royal Opera House, that was the former name of today’s Hungarian State Opera House of which M° György G. Ráth was music director since 2001.


The legacy of Hungarian conductors: ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI

Ernő Dohnányi (1877 – 1960) (in German Ernst von Dohnányi) studied in the then “Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music” in Budapest and soon became worlwide famous as a composer, pianist and conductor.

He was one of the teachers of the young George Solti in Budapest.

M° György G. Ráth recorded his two piano concertos with Budapest Symphony Orchestra for the prestigious Hungarian label “Hungaroton”






The legacy of Hungarian conductors: HANS SWAROWSKY

Everyone knows Hans Swarowsky (1889 – 1975) as the most influential teacher of XXth Century and among his pupils are: Claudio Abbado, Zubin Metha, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Ivan and Adam Fischer, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Albert Rosen, Bruno Weil etc., not everyone though knows that he was of Hungarian origins.

He studied conducting with Felix Weingartner and Richard Strauss and musical theory with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern. Herbert von Karajan invited him to take on the permanent position as conductor of the Vienna State Opera.

Swarowsky’s lectures and essays were collected into the publication Wahrung der Gestalt (Keeping Shape), which today serves as an encyclopaedia for performance and conducting. From 1957 to 1959 he was chief conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra (now the Royal Scottish N.O.).

Though not directly linked to him, M° György G. Ráth continues his legacy of great Hungarian born teachers.


The legacy of Hungarian conductors: GEORGE SZELL

George (György) Szell (1897 – 1970) is widely considered one of the twentieth century’s greatest conductors.
He is remembered today for his long and successful tenure as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra of Cleveland, Ohio, and for the recordings of the standard classical repertoire he made in Cleveland and with other orchestras.

Szell came to Cleveland in 1946 to take over a respected if undersized orchestra, which was struggling to recover from the disruptions of World War II. By the time of his death he was credited, to quote the critic Donal Henahan, with having built it into “what many critics regarded as the world’s keenest symphonic instrument.”

The discographic activity of M° Győriványi Ráth György is also impressive, with more than 30 cd’s recorded during his career covering an incredibly wide repertoire. (https://www.rath.info.hu/blank-2)




The legacy of Hungarian conductors: SÁNDOR VÉGH

Best known as one of the great chamber music violinists of the twentieth century, Sándor Végh (1912 – 1997) also founded an orchestra, the Sándor Végh Chamber Orchestra and in 1978 became conductor of the Camerata Academica at the Mozarteum. With them he made a recording of Mozart’s divertimentos and serenades that won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1989.

Carlos Kleiber referred to Végh as “my conducting idol”.




The legacy of Hungarian conductors: SIR GEORG SOLTI

Born György Stern(1912 – 1997), long-serving music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for 22 years, he was born in Budapest where he studied there with Béla Bartók, Leó Weiner and Ernő Dohnányi.

He recorded many works two or three times at various stages of his career, and was a prolific recording artist, making more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets.

After further work as a répétiteur at the opera in Budapest, and with his standing enhanced by his association with Toscanini, Solti began a career as opera conductor. He was musical director of the 4Bavarian State Opera in Munich and Covent Garden Opera Company among others.

M° Győriványi Ráth György continues the long tradition of Hungarian conductors helding top positions in Opera Houses around the world: he was Music and Artistic Director of Hungarian National Opera and is now Music Director of Opéra de Nice.


The legacy of Hungarian conductors: ANTAL DORÁTI

Antal Doráti (1906 – 1988) was born in Budapest, and studied at the Franz Liszt Academy with Zoltán Kodály and Leo Weiner for composition and Béla Bartók for piano.
His links with Bartók continued for many years: he conducted many of his works world premieres.

He made his first recording with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and over the course of his career Doráti made over 600 recordings.

He also recorded for Hungaroton Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and
Divertimento for strings.

To Antal Doráti is entitled one of the most important music competitions for conductor, the Antal Dorati competition in Budapest that takes time every three years.

M° György G. Ráth also recorded Bartok’s Divertimento for Hungaroton in a widely appreciated recording with Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.


The legacy of great Hungarian conductors continues in Maestro GYÖRGY G. RATH

A legacy that comes from Arthur Nikisch and Hans Swarowsky and goes on until today passing through George Szell, Sándor Végh Antal Dorati, Sir George Solti.

György G. Ráth started his career in 1986 by winning the Toscanini competition in Parma and is regularly invited in some of the most important opera houses and philharmonic societies in the world.

He regularly teaches young musicians. He wrote a book on conducting, including his personal experience and things he had learned during his own studies from his Hungarian teachers, László Somogyi and Ervin Lukács, as well as from Franco Ferrara in Italy, Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa in the United States, Kurt Masur in Germany and Karl Österreicher in Austria.

Personal website: www.rath.info.hu

Webpage on Opéra de Nice’s website: www.opera-nice.org/fr/artistes/orchestre/direction