Sebök, György, Hungarian-born American pianist and pedagogue; b. Szeged, Nov. 2, 1922; d. Blooming-ton, Ind., Nov. 14, 1999. He began his training in Szeged at age 5, and made his first public appearance as a pianist in 1936. At 16, he entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he graduated in 1942. In 1949 he became a prof. of piano at the Bela Bartók Cons. in Budapest. He was soloist in the first Bartók Memorial Concert in Budapest in 1950. In 1951 he won the Berlin Prize and in 1952 the Liszt Prize in Budapest. He toured in Eastern and Central Europe, as well as in Russia. When the Hungarian Revolution failed in 1956, he went to Paris. In 1962 he became a prof. at the Ind. Univ. School of Music in Bloomington, where he was made a Distinguished Prof. in 1985. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1970. Sebök’s engagements took him all over the world as a soloist with orchs., as a recitalist, and as a chamber music artist. He also gave master classes in the U.S. and abroad. In 1993 he received the Cross of Merit from the Hungarian Republic for his services to music, in 1995 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Paris, and in 1996 he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire