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Tamas Vasary (b1933)

A musically gifted child, Vásáry studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Josef Gat and Lajos Hernádi, also receiving advice from Ernő Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály. Upon completion of his studies, Kodály invited the seventeen-year-old Vásáry, who had already won first prize at the Franz Liszt Competition at the age of fourteen, to teach at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. Vásáry’s father and uncle had held political appointments since the end of World War II, but the political unrest in Hungary forced them first to leave these government posts and then, in 1951, to leave the city and live in the country. Vásáry helped support his family by playing the piano, and in 1954 graduated from the Liszt Academy with a diploma, but during the political unrest of 1956 he and his family headed for Brussels, with Tamás eventually settling in Switzerland near Lake Geneva. A few years later he decided to reside permanently in London, by which time he had won seventh prize in the Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris and sixth prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition when other winners included Lazar Berman and Vladimir Ashkenazy.



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