Somfai, László

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Somfai, László

Somfai, László, Hungarian musicologist; b. Jás-zladány, Aug. 15, 1934. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music as a student of Szabolcsi and Bartha, receiving his Ph.D. there in 1959. He served as a music librarian at the National Széchényi Library (1958–62). In 1963 he joined the staff of the Bartók Archives (from 1969 known as the Inst. of Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences); became its director in 1972. He also taught at the Budapest Academy of Music (from 1969; prof. from 1980) and was ed. of the archive series Documenta Bartókiana (from 1972). In 1986 he became a corresponding member of the American Musicological Soc.


With D. Bartha, Haydn als Opernkapellmeister: Die Haydn-Dokumente der Esterházy-Opernsammlung (Budapest and Mainz, 1960); Joseph Haydn: Sein Leben in zeitgenössischen Bildern (Budapest and Kassel, 1966; Eng. tr., 1969); Anton Webern (Budapest, 1968); The Keyboard Sonatas of Joseph Haydn: Instruments and Performance Practice, Genres and Styles (Chicago, 1995); Bela Bartók: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources (Berkeley, 1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire