Hungarian violist György Konrád has died, almost 100 years old. Born in Szeged on 18 October 1924, Konrad was a member of the Tátrai String Quartet, but he also played a major role in all the leading Hungarian symphony orchestras. He was a member of the orchestra Solistes Européens Luxembourg from 1992 to 2005.

Between 1934 and 1944 György Konrad was a violin pupil of László Perényi at the conservatoire in his home town. After completing his studies, he served a few months of compulsory labor service because of his Jewish background. He lost the rest of his family in the Holocaust. When the Soviet troops liberated Szeged, he became a violinist in the orchestra of the newly reopened city theatre under the direction of Ferenc Fricsay.

From 1976 he continued his orchestral career as principal viola of the Hungarian State Opera House, and from 1980 he was a member of the Hungarian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

From 1983 he was a professor at the Academy of Music for many years.

In addition to the Tátrai String Quartet, he played with other chamber ensembles and was a concert artist well beyond the age of 90.

Ivan Fischer, Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra says: « As a founding member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, he played in our very first audition and participated in its formation. He was a conductor of several Hungarian ensembles and a legendary member of the Tátrai Quartet. In 1944, with some luck, he escaped from a line in front of a firing squad. I have always been lucky, he said. He loved music, life and people. We preserve the memory of his sunny personality. »

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