Pauk, György , distinguished Hungarian-born English violinist and pedagogue; b. Budapest, Oct. 26, 1936. He began violin studies when he was 5, and at 13 he entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he was a student of Zathureczky Weiner and Zoltán Kodály. He made his debut as a soloist with orch. when he played the Khatchaturian Violin Concerto in Budapest when he was 14, and then toured Eastern Europe. Following the suppression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956, he left his homeland and won the Paganini (Genoa, 1956), Munich (1957), and Long-Thibaud (Paris, 1959) competitions. In 1961 he settled in England and in 1967 he became a naturalized British subject. In 1962 he made his London recital debut, and also his London debut as a soloist in Mozart’s A major Violin Concerto, K.219, with the London Sym. Orch. conducted by Maazel. Thereafter he was engaged by all of the principal British orchs. and festivals, and also toured abroad as a soloist with British orchs. In 1970 he made his U.S. debut as soloist in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto with Solti and the Chicago Sym. Orch., the same year that he made his first appearance as a soloist in Vienna playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Vienna Sym. Orch. under Melles’s direction. He made his N.Y. debut in 1972 in the Brahms Violin Concerto with Dorati and the National Sym. Orch. of Washington, D.C. With the pianist Peter Frankl and the cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he formed a trio in 1972. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997. In 1976 he made his Berlin debut as a soloist in the Dvorak Violin Concerto with the Berlin Radio Sym. Orch. conducted by Wakasugi. In 1979 he made his Japanese debut in Tokyo in Pederecki’s 1st Violin Concerto with the NHK Sym. Orch. under the composer’s direction. He made his debut at N.Y.’s Carnegie Hall as soloist in the Brahms Violin Concerto with the American Sym. Orch. under Comissiona in 1981, and in 1982 he appeared with the Boston Sym. Orch. under Sir Colin Davis’s direction in the Tippett Violin Concerto. He also played with many other orchs. around the world, and at many festivals. In 1991 he served as artistic director of the Mozart Bicentenary Festival at London’s Wigmore Hall, where he appeared as both a violinist and a violist. Pauk taught at the Royal Manchester Coll. of Music (1964–67), and later in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (1984–87) and the Royal Academy of Music (from 1987). He has also given master classes in England and abroad. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of the Hungarian Republic for his services to music. In addition to his admired performances of the standard repertoire, he has also won distinction for his interpretations of contemporary works.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire