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Ernö Balogh (Piano)

Born: April 4, 1897 - Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 2, 1989 - Mitchellville, Maryland, USA

The Hunarian pianist, composer, editor and teacher, Ernö Balogh, performed and composed music at the piano from an early age. Punishment for him was being denied access to the piano. His first compositions, two short piano pieces dedicated to his father, were written at the age of 8. For twelve years, 1905 to 1917, he attended the Budapest Conservatory, completing the Professor's Certificate and receiving the Franz Liszt Prize in piano and composition. During this period, he studied piano with Béla Bartók and composition and theory with Zoltán Kodály. Balogh became a close friend of both men and he was instrumental in bringing Bartók to the USA for his first concert tour in 1927.

Ernö Balogh left Hungary in 1919 and arrived in Berlin. He studied piano at the Berlin Conservatory from 1920 to 1923 with Leonid Kreutzer. In 1923, Balogh was considering coming to the USA when he met violinist Fritz Kreisler, who asked him to be his accompanist on a tour of Scandinavia. Kreisler advised him that a move to the USA would be enhanced by this experience because, as Balogh explained, "he was rather well known there, and that having my name listed on his programs would not hurt me with American managers."

Ernö Balogh settled in the USA in 1924. He lived in New York City until 1960 and, during that time, was an established figure among concert pianists, appearing in recital and with orchestra throughout the USA and in Canada and Cuba, accompanying the great singers, Lotte Lehmann and Grace Moore and making several recordings. In 1936, he married Malvina Schweitzer, a New York University professor of biochemistry.

From 1947 to 1960 Ernö Balogh taught at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore where he influenced many piano and composition students. In 1960, Balogh and his wife moved to Washington, D.C.

Ernö Balogh wrote some amiable instrumental pieces of brief dimensions, including Caprice antique and Arabesque, which were performed by Fritz Kreisler. He wrote articles on piano pedagogy, opera, performance practice, and Bartok for such magazines as Etude, Opera News, and The Musical Observer.

Source: International Piano Archives at Maryland, UM Libraries Website; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2007)

Ernö Balogh: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

International Piano Archives at Maryland, UM Libraries: Ernor Balogh
Erno Balogh Collection - Performing Arts Encyclopedia (LOC)

Erno Balogh, Pianist And Author, 92, Dies (New York Times)

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