Cziffra, György

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Cziffra, György

Cziffra, György , noted Hungarian-born French pianist; b. Budapest, Sept. 5, 1921; d. Morsang-sur-Orge, Jan. 15, 1994. He studied with Dohnanyi at the Budapest Academy of Music, but his education was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Hungarian army. After the war, he continued his studies at the Budapest Academy of Music with Ferenczi, but was once more distracted from music when he was arrested in 1950 for his rebellious political views. He was released from jail in 1953, but was again endangered by the abortive Hungarian revolt in 1956. Convinced that he could have no peace under Communist rule, he went to Paris, where he made successful appearances as a pianist; in 1968 he became a naturalized French citizen. In 1973 he founded the St.-Frambourg Royal Chapel Foundation in Senlis to assist young musicians and artists. He was best known for his interpretations of works of the Romantic repertoire; especially brilliant were his renditions of the music of Liszt. He publ. Des canons et desfleurs (Paris, 1977).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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