Sándor Végh (Koloszvár, Hungary 17th May 1912 – Salzburg, 7th January 1997)
Sándor Végh was one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century. He began studying the piano and later entered the Budapest Conservatory, taking violin studies with Jenö Hubay and composition with Zoltán Kodály. He debuted in 1927 with a work by Richard Strauss under the composer’s baton. He graduated in 1930, having won important prizes. He joined the Hungarian Trio with Ilonka Krauss and Laszlo Vencze. In 1934 he co-founded the Hungarian String Quartet, with whom he participated in the first performance of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet no. 5. In 1940 he founded the Végh String Quartet and became a professor at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He and the quartet left Hungary in 1946. They continued to give concerts until the mid-1970s; Végh also made solo appearances as a violinist. He gave classes in Zermatt, and appeared annually in Casals’ Prades Festival (1953-69). He also taught in Basle, Freiburg, Düsseldorf and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He founded the International Chamber Music Festival of Cervo in 1962 and the Sándor Végh Chamber Orchestra; he conducted the Marlboro Festival Orchestra and the Camerata Academica at the Mozarteum, with whom he made a recording of Mozart’s divertimentos and serenades that won the Grand Prix du Disque. He was awarded “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur”, Doctor Honoris causa at two British universities, a CBE honorary appointment and the Gold Medal of Salzburg. After a short illness, he died at a hospital in Freilassing, just across the border from Salzburg.
“You are proposing something almost too big for us” answered Maria Raimondo, then the mayor of Cervo, in 1963 to maestro Sándor Végh, when the latter uttered his intention to found a Chamber Music Festival in Cervo. The great violinist, who had been enraptured by our medieval village, made his challenging proposal and the town administrators were brave enough to accept it, thus was born one of the most prestigious artistic/musical events in Liguria. We, the inhabitants of Cervo, will never be grateful enough to maestro Végh; it is for this reason that I have decided to celebrate him on the occasion of the 43rd edition presenting a short biography to our guests.
(dott. Giuseppe Raimondo) <