Lorand Fenyves

Lorand Fenyves. Violinist, teacher, b Budapest 20 Feb 1918, naturalized Canadian 1971, d Switzerland 23 March 2004. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where his teachers included Oscar Studer, Jenö Hubay, Leo Weiner, Imre Waldbauer, and Zoltán Kodály.

Fenyves, Lorand

Lorand Fenyves. Violinist, teacher, b Budapest 20 Feb 1918, naturalized Canadian 1971, d Switzerland 23 March 2004. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where his teachers included Oscar Studer, Jenö Hubay, Leo Weiner, Imre Waldbauer, and Zoltán Kodály. In 1934 he earned the artist's and teacher's diploma, won the Hubay Prize, and began his career with a tour of Europe and the premiere of Felix Weingartner's Concerto in Budapest and Vienna, with the composer conducting. At the invitation of Bronislaw Huberman, Fenyves emigrated to Palestine in 1936 and became concertmaster of the new Palestine Symphony Orchestra (later the Israel Philharmonic). There he also was one of five founders of the Israel Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1940. In Tel Aviv he founded the Fenyves Quartet (1940-56), renamed the Israel String Quartet in 1948. He moved to Geneva in 1957 as concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse romande and teacher at the Geneva Conservatory.

He came to Canada in 1963 as string teacher and coach at the Orford Art Centre (returning there each year until 1976, and continuing to teach there in the early 2000s). Together with Gilles Lefebvre he developed plans for the formation of an ensemble that was destined to become the Orford String Quartet (the violins of which - Andrew Dawes and Kenneth Perkins - had been pupils of his in Geneva). A visiting teacher at the University of Toronto in 1965, Fenyves settled in Toronto in 1966 and joined the Faculty of Music where he continued to coach the Orford Quartet. He was named professor emeritus in 1983 and remained on the teaching faculty in 2004. He also began to teach at the University of Western Ontario in 1985. His pupils included Adele Armin, Otto Armin, Steven Dann, Victor Martin, Erika Raum, and many others who have been members of major Canadian orchestras. He was a teacher and coach with the JM World Orchestra in 1970 and 1976, with the NYO 1966-77, and in 1972 he began his continuous association with the Banff CA. As well, he taught at the RCMT's Glenn Gould Professional School. He gave master classes in England at Aldeburgh, the Cornwall International Seminar of Music, and the Royal Northern College of Music; in Japan annually at the Toho School; in Hungary each year beginning in 1985; and in the USA He took part in the Haydn-Riegger Festival in Austria in 1993.

Fenyves performed extensively in Europe and North America as a chamber musician, as soloist with major orchestras under such conductors as Ansermet, Bernstein, Fricsay, Ozawa, and Schuricht, and with such recital partners as Béla Siki, György Sebök, Menahem Pressler, Anton Kuerti, Patricia Parr, Pierre Souvairan, and Lydia Wong. He continued to perform solo and chamber music at Banff, Toronto, and elsewhere, including at his 85th birthday concert at the University of Toronto in 2003.

An outstanding performer and exceptional teacher, Fenyves possessed what William Aide described as 'a wisdom about what music means and how it can be taught as a life-affirming force' (Notes from the Faculty of Music, Spring-Summer 1983). He was awarded Hungary's Cross of the Order of Merit in 1998. Fenyves was considered by many to be one of the greatest violin teachers in the world (Globe and Mail, 20 Feb 1998).


Further Reading

  • Jacobsen, J.B. 'Bird's eye view,' Music and Musicians, Nov 1963

    Kraglund, John. 'Violin master takes a bow,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 12 Jan 1983

    Silverstein, Barbara. 'Violin teacher helped shape Israel's music culture,' Canadian Jewish News, 14 May 1998

    Winters, Ken. 'Style and an elegant serenity,' Globe and Mail, 18 Feb 2003