János Sebestyén

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János Sebestyén at the Austrian ambassador's residence in Budapest, November 2004.

János Sebestyén (2 March 1931 – 4 February 2012) was a Hungarian organist, harpsichordist and pianist.[1][2]


Sebestyén was born in Budapest and attended the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where his professors included organists János Hammerschlag and Ferenc Gergely, pianist István Antal, and composers Ervin Major and Ferenc Szabó. He graduated in 1955 with an organ diploma and later attended the harpsichord class of Zuzana Růžičková in Prague. His concert tours took him to Russia, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, the United States and nearly every country in Europe.

In 1970 he established the first harpsichord class at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. He was invited to serve on juries for organ and harpsichord competitions in France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Switzerland. In Hungary he served as President of the Jury for the International Liszt Organ Competition in 1983, 1988 and 1993, and at the 1st International Harpsichord Competition, Budapest, in 2000. From 1950 on, he worked at the Hungarian Radio in various capacities. Between 1969-94 he was senior music producer and from 1962 until 2007 he hosted a regular series of broadcasts documenting Hungarian musical life and history. He later contributed a monthly program to Hungarian Catholic Radio.[3]



  • Rózsa Miklós: Életem történeteiből (Miklós Rózsa: Stories From My Life), Budapest, 1980; ISBN 963-330-354-0
  • És azok a rádiós évek (Those Radio Years), Budapest, 1995; ISBN 963-8314-15-X


Sebestyén's discography spans most of the keyboard repertoire, from works by renaissance composer Valentin Bakfark through those by contemporary composers such as Frank Martin. More than 80 LP and CD recordings have been published by various labels including Angelicum, Ariston, Balkanton, BAM, Il Canale, CBS Italiana, Fonit Cetra, Hungaroton, Naxos, and Supraphon.

Highlights include:

He contributed to many recordings for the Hungarian Radio. Highlights include:


  1. ^ János Sebestyén (Organ, Harpsichord, Piano) bach-cantatas.com 4 November 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Meghalt Sebestyén János orgona- és csembalóművész". Prae.Hu. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  3. ^ Magyar Katolikus Rádió Retrieved 7 February 2012.

External links[edit]