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Reményi (real name, Hoffmann), Ede (Eduard)

Reményi (real name, Hoffmann), Ede (Eduard)

Reményi (real name, Hoffmann ), Ede (Eduard) , prominent Hungarian violinist; b. Miskolc, Jan. 17, 1828; d. San Francisco, May 15, 1898. He began his training in Eger, and then studied with Böhm at the Vienna Cons. (1842–45). Banished from the Austro-Hungarian realm for his participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, he began the career of a wandering violinist in the U.S. Returning to Europe, he toured Germany with Brahms as his accompanist (1853). After serving as solo violinist to Queen Victoria (1854–59), he returned to Hungary following the amnesty of 1860, and then was made solo violinist to the Austrian court. In 1865 he commenced a brilliant tour, visiting Paris, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He then proceeded to London in 1877, and to America in 1878, traveling in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In 1886 he began a new concert tour around the world, visiting Japan, China, and South Africa. Some notes on his trip to the Far East are in the N.Y. Public Library. His last years were troubled by ill health and a decline in his playing. He was appearing in vaudeville houses by 1898, and collapsed suddenly while playing the pizzicato from the Sylvia suite of Delibes at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco, dying of apoplexy a few hours later. His technique was prodigious; in vigor, passion, and pathos he was unexcelled. He made skillful transcriptions of Chopin’s waltzes, polonaises, and mazurkas, and pieces by Bach, Schubert, etc.; these are united under the title Nouvelle école du violon. He was also a natural performer of Gypsy music, and Liszt profited much by his help in supplying and arranging authentic Gypsy tunes. He composed a Violin Concerto and some solos for violin. His great-nephew was Marcel Dick.


G. Kelly and G. Upton, Edouard R.: Musician, Littérateur, and Man (Chicago, 1906); E. Sas, R. (Budapest, 1934).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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