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Gyorgy Lehel

György Lehel studied music at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, as well as privately with Pál Kadosa for composition and Laszlo Somogyi for conducting, and made his début as a conductor in 1946. He went on to work for Hungarian radio as a conductor from 1950 and was awarded the Liszt Prize in 1955 and 1962, the year in which he was appointed as chief conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, also known as the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction the orchestra became one of the best in Hungary; it also toured widely and appeared at the 1968 Cheltenham Festival in England, performing music by Gordon Crosse and Elizabeth Maconchy. Lehel himself developed an active international career as a guest conductor, appearing throughout Western and Eastern Europe, including the USSR, America and Japan. He was honoured with the title of Merited Artist of the Hungarian People’s Republic in 1967 and received the Kossuth Prize in 1973. Having become permanent guest conductor of the Basle Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1974, Lehel continued to be active right up to his relatively early death in 1989.



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