György Kurtág

Eight days after his 88th birthday, we will hear a few pieces composed by György Kurtág. Stephanie Chua will treat us to a few selections from Játékok on February 27, 2014.

Kurtág was born on February 19, 1926. He is a Hungarian composer. He and his wife, Márta, currently live near Bordeaux. However, Kurtág spent most of his early career in Budapest. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. He eventually became a professor there as well, first of piano and then of chamber music, officially retiring from his post in 1986 but still teaching a few classes up until 1993. It was at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music that he also met his wife, a fellow pianist. They have played together many times over the years. György Kurtág is an international award winning composer and pianist and is still winning awards. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal in London on December 1, 2013.

Játékok (Games) is a series of piano pieces started in 1973. Currently there are 8 published volumes with the most recent one having been published in 2010. Kurtág continues to add pieces to Játékok, exploring music as a fragment. Some of the pieces are for 2 hands and some for 4 hands. The Kurtág’s have played many of them together during the past 40 years at performances. We are looking forward to hearing some of the pieces for 2 hands played by Ms. Chua in a few weeks!

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