Major (real name, Mayer), (Jakab) Gyula

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Major (real name, Mayer), (Jakab) Gyula

Major (real name, Mayer), (Jakab) Gyula, Hungarian pianist, choral conductor, pedagogue, and composer, father of Ervin Major; b. Kassa, Dec. 13, 1858; d. Budapest, Jan. 30, 1925. After training at the Cons, in Buda, he was a pupil of Erkel and Liszt (piano) and Volkmann (composition) at the Academy of Music there (1877–81). He was active as a teacher in various music schools and teacher-training colleges. With Gyula Káldy and Sándor Nikolits, he founded the Hungarian Music School in Budapest in 1889. He was founder-conductor of the Hungarian Women’s Choral Soc. (1894–1904). He made some tours or Europe as a pianist. His music follows in the German Romantic tradition with some infusion of original Hungarian folk melos.

Works

dramatic: Opera: Dalam(n.d.); Erzsike (Budapest, Sept. 24, 1901); Széchy Maria (Koloszvár, 1906); Mila (Pressburg, 1913). orch.: Overture (1881); 2 piano concertos (1882, n.d.); 6 syms.: No. 1 (1883–84), No. 2, Hungarian (n.d.), No. 3 (c. 1904), No. 4 (c. 1904), No. 5 for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (1910–12), and No. 6 (c. 1918; unfinished); Concert symphonique for 2 Pianos and Orch. (c. 1888); Violin Concerto (n.d.); Cello Concerto (n.d.); Drei Konzert fantasien for Piano and Orch. (n.d.); Suite Balaton (1906). chamber: 3 piano trios (1881–1907); 4 string quartets (1882–1905); 2 violin sonatas (1907, 1907).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire