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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Anda, Geza

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Geza Anda (1921 - 1976)

The son of amateur musicians, Anda entered the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest at the age of thirteen. His most important teacher was Ernő Dohnányi, with whom he spent his last two years at the Academy. At the age of nineteen Anda won the Liszt Prize, which led to his debut with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra under Willem Mengelberg with Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 83. After graduating from the Liszt Academy in 1941, at Wilhelm Furtwängler’s suggestion Anda went to Berlin for further study. He gave his Berlin debut with Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra playing the Variations Symphoniques by César Franck. Obviously in a dangerous location at this time, Anda was to be conscripted into the Hungarian army, but friends helped him to escape to Switzerland. He settled in Zürich and after the end of World War II spent a period of time in Paris, absorbing French music and culture under the guidance of Pierre Souvchinsky. He gave some concerts in Paris and gradually expanded his career, performing in Scandinavia, England and Israel. Anda first appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1952, and over the next twenty-three years performed there nineteen times with orchestra and gave eight solo recitals. His reputation gradually grew, helped by his recordings for Columbia. In November 1955 he made his orchestral debut in New York with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy, again with Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 83, and he gave his New York recital debut a few weeks later. He then made




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