Vághy String Quartet
The Vághy String Quartet. Formed 1965 at the Juilliard School by the Vághy brothers, Dezsö, first violin and Tibor, viola (who were born in Hungary and had studied in Budapest, Vienna, and Hamburg), Stephen Kecskeméthy, second violin, and Edward Culbreath, cello. In 1969 two US-born musicians, David George and Robert Dodson, took over as second violin and cello. In 1981 George was succeeded by Alanna Deptuch Vághy - b Regina 1958, B MUS (Queen's) 1981, a pupil of Howard Leyton-Brown and Ivan Galamian, and a pupil of and later married to Dezsö Vághy - and Dodson was succeeded by the Polish-born cellist Julian Tryczynski.
The quartet was coached by members of the Juilliard and Amadeus String Quartets and was quartet-in-residence 1966-8 at the University of Maine. Its first appearance in Canada was at Expo 67 in Montreal. In 1968 it became quartet-in-residence at Queen's University, a position it continued to hold in 1991, and it served 1968-88 in the first chairs of the string section in the Kingston Symphony. The quartet's repertoire has included much 20th-century music, including works by Bartók, Ives, Janáček, Lutoslawski, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, and Szymanowski, among others. It has also played works by Milton Barnes, Srul Irving Glick, Jacques Hétu, Otto Joachim, Peter Paul Koprowski, and Harry Somers. It premiered John Fodi's Quartet for Strings 'Ch'ien' and Paul Crawford's String Quartet: 'La nuit étoilée' in 1974; James Montgomery's Reconnaissance in 1975; Graham George's Fuguing Music for String Quartet, James Kent's Cadenza String Quartet, and Norman Sherman's Quadron in 1976; William Wallace's Quartet for Strings in 1983; and Healey Willan's Introduction and Allegro (completed by F.R.C. Clarke) in 1984.
The Vághy String Quartet has performed live and on radio and TV broadcasts in North America and Europe. It taught during the summers 1975-7 at the Kelso Music Centre (near Oakville, Ont) and 1978-80 at the Chamber Music Institute (which it founded in Kingston). After the quartet's New York debut, 2 Mar 1975, Peter G. Davis in the New York Times (9 Mar 1975) praised a 'large, lush, glamorous ensemble tone... used... to excellent effect.' The quartet was the subject of a film, Vaghy, produced in 1971 by Quarry Film Production. Its recording of string quartets by Shostakovich and Szymanowski received the 1977 Canadian Music Council award for the best chamber music record.