Zoltán Kocsis

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The native form of this personal name is Kocsis Zoltán. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals.
Zoltán Kocsis in 1972

Kocsis Zoltán autogram.jpg

Zoltán Kocsis (Hungarian: [ˈzoltaːn ˈkot͡ʃiʃ]; 30 May 1952 – 6 November 2016) was a Hungarian virtuoso pianist, conductor, and composer.[1]

Biography[edit]

Studies[edit]

Born in Budapest, he began his musical studies at the age of five and continued them at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in 1963, studying piano and composition.[2] In 1968 he was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he was a pupil of Pál Kadosa, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág, graduating in 1973.

Career[edit]

He won the Hungarian Radio Beethoven Competition in 1970, and made his first concert tour of the United States in the following year.[3] He received the Liszt Prize in 1973, and the Kossuth Prize in 1978.[3]

Considered a great pianist,[4] Kocsis performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Philharmonia of London, and the Vienna Philharmonic.[5] Kocsis recorded the complete solo piano works and works with piano and orchestra of Béla Bartók.[6] In 1990, his recording of Debussy's Images[7] won "The Gramophone" Instrumental Award for that year. He won another with the violinist Barnabás Kelemen in 2013 in the chamber category for the recording of Bartók's Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2.[8]

American critic Harold C. Schonberg praised Kocsis' extraordinary technique and fine piano tone.[9] According to Grove Music Online, he had "an impressive technique, and his forthright, strongly rhythmic playing is nevertheless deeply felt and never mechanical. Kocsis has a natural affinity for Bach, but is also a fine exponent of contemporary music and has given the first performances of works by Kurtág."[3]

Conductor[edit]

Zoltán Kocsis

Kocsis co-founded with Iván Fischer the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, thus opening a new epoch in the history of Hungarian orchestral playing.[3] Kocsis played a determining role in the direction and the development of the program policy of the orchestra from its founding, and from 1987 also appeared as a conductor at their concerts.

He became the musical director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic in 1997 and held the title until his death in 2016. Kocsis died on 6 November 2016, aged 64 in his native Budapest.[10]

Selected works[edit]

Opera[edit]

  • Kopogtatások (1984-85)
  • A vacsora (1984-85)
  • Kiállítás (1984-85)

Orchestral and Chamber music[edit]

  • Premiere, for string orchetra (1976)
  • Fészek (1975-76)
  • The last but one encounter, for piano, harpsichord (1981)
  • 33. December, for chamber ensemble (1983)
  • Memento, for string orchestra (Csernobil) (1986)
  • Utolsó találkozás (1990)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zoltán Kocsis - Noteble Alumni Liszt Academy
  2. ^ Hungaroton LP SLPX11711 Liner Notes.
  3. ^ a b c d In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ 88 notes pour piano solo, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Neva Ed., 2015, p. 52. ISBN 978 2 3505 5192 0
  5. ^ "Zoltán Kocsis, pianist and 'giant of music', dies aged 64", - 2016. november 7. The Guardian
  6. ^ Zoltán Kocsis plays Bartók, Philips 8 CD set 475 6720.
  7. ^ Now issued as Philips CD 475 210-2.
  8. ^ The gramophone, 2013.
  9. ^ Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987
  10. ^ "Meghalt Kocsis Zoltán, a Nemzeti Filharmonikusok vezetője". 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi
Principal Conductors, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
1997–2016
Succeeded by
Zsolt Hamar