Szendrei, Aladár

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Szendrei, Aladár

Szendrei, Aladár, Hungarian-American conductor, musicologist, and composer who Americanized his name to Alfred Sendrey; b. Budapest, Feb. 29, 1884; d. Los Angeles, March 3, 1976. He studied with Koessler at the Budapest Academy of Music (1901-05) and later took courses in musicology at the Univ. of Leipzig (Ph.D., 1932). After serving as a theater conductor in Germany, he went to the U.S., where he conducted opera in Philadelphia and Chicago (1911-12); appeared with N.Y/s Century Co. (1913-14). He returned to Europe in 1914; served in the Austrian army during World War I; after the Armistice, conducted opera in Leipzig (1918-24) and sym. concerts there (1924-32). In 1933 he left Germany and went to Paris, where he conducted at Radiodiffusion Française; he also taught conducting; Charles Munch took private lessons in conducting with him (1933-40); after the fall of Paris, Szendrei emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles. He was prof, of Jewish music at the Univ. of Judaism in Los Angeles (1962-73).


dramatic: Opera: Der türkisenblaue Garten (Leipzig, Feb. 7, 1920). Ballet: Danse d’odalisque. ORCH.: Hungarian Overture (1904); Sym. (1923). CHAMBER: Piano Quintet (1925). VOCAL: Stabat Mater for 8 Solo Voices and Chorus (1905).


Rundfunk und Musikpflege (Leipzig, 1931); Dirigierkunde (Leipzig, 1932; third ed., 1956); Bibliography of Jewish Music (N.Y., 1951); David’s Harp: A Popular History of the Music in Biblical Times (N.Y., 1964); Music in Ancient Israel (N.Y., 1969); The Music of the Jews in the Diaspora (up to 1800) (N.Y., 1969); Music in the Social and Religious Life of Antiquity (Canbury, N.J., 1974).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire