Joseph Szigeti

~ Person


Joseph Szigeti (Hungarian: Szigeti József, [ˈjoːʒɛf ˈsiɡɛti]; 5 September 1892 – 19 February 1973) was a Hungarian violinist.

Born into a musical family, he spent his early childhood in a small town in Transylvania. He quickly proved himself to be a child prodigy on the violin, and moved to Budapest with his father to study with the renowned pedagogue Jenő Hubay. After completing his studies with Hubay in his early teens, Szigeti began his international concert career. His performances at that time were primarily limited to salon-style recitals and the more overtly virtuosic repertoire; however, after making the acquaintance of pianist Ferruccio Busoni, he began to develop a much more thoughtful and intellectual approach to music that eventually earned him the nickname "The Scholarly Virtuoso".

Following a bout of tuberculosis that required a stay in a sanatorium in Switzerland, Szigeti settled in Geneva, where he became Professor of Violin at the local conservatory in 1917. It was in Geneva that he met his future wife, Wanda Ostrowska, and at roughly the same time he became friends with the composer Béla Bartók. Both relationships were to be lifelong.

From the 1920s until 1960, Szigeti performed regularly around the world and recorded extensively. He also distinguished himself as a strong advocate of new music, and was the dedicatee of many new works by contemporary composers. Among the more notable pieces written for him are Ernest Bloch's Violin Concerto, Bartók's Rhapsody No. 1, and Eugène Ysaÿe's Solo Sonata No. 1. After retiring from the concert stage in 1960, he worked at teaching and writing until his death in 1973, at the age of 80.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Contrasts / Mikrokosmos (excerpts) Béla Bartók; Béla Bartók, Joseph Szigeti, Benny Goodman 1
1992 Violin Concerto / Piano Trio no. 2 Brahms; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Joseph Szigeti, Pablo Casals, Dame Myra Hess 1
Beethoven Violin Concerto / Brahms Horn Trio Ludwig van Beethoven; Johannes Brahms; Joseph Szigeti, John Barrows, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Mozart: Violin Concerto no. 4 Beethoven, Mozart; Joseph Szigeti, British Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Beecham 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Great Hungarian Musicians Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Béla Bartók; Jóseph Szigeti, Béla Bartók 1
2004 A Sonata Recital by Béla Bartók and Joseph Szigeti Beethoven, Bartók, Debussy; Béla Bartók, Joseph Szigeti 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2003 Great Violinists: Joseph Szigeti Joseph Szigeti 1

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