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Janos Ferencsik (1907 - 1984)

János Ferencsik studied conducting with Fleischer and composition with Lajtha at the Hungarian National Conservatory; having joined the Budapest Opera in 1927 as a répétiteur, he started to conduct there in 1930. His musical career was subsequently to be concentrated primarily within his home country of Hungary, although he also worked as a musical assistant at the Bayreuth Festival in 1930 and 1931, and as a conductor at the Vienna State Opera between 1948 and 1950. Ferencsik was most well-known as the chief conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, a position which he took up in 1952 and held until his death in 1984; he toured extensively with this orchestra, visiting America in 1972 and Japan and Australia in 1974. In addition he served as chief conductor of the Hungarian State Opera from 1957 to 1974, and of the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1968.

One of Hungary’s most distinguished musicians, Ferencsik appeared regularly at the Salzburg and Vienna Festivals and as a guest conductor in the USSR and North and South America, leading such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He made his British debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957, and appeared at the 1963 Edinburgh Festival with great success at the head of the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet in a triple bill of Béla Bartók’s stage works. He taught conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and was twice awarded Hungary’s highest musical award, the Kossuth Prize, in 1951 and 1961.



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