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Boldizsár Keönch (Tenor)

Born: March 16, 1938 - Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 17, 2016 - Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian tenor and singing teacher, Boldizsár Keönch, studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest under József Réti, who played an important role in the shaping of his career: he once said of his student that “a new star has appeared in the oratorio firmament” and indeed he become renowned as a tenor oratorio and song recitalist.

Boldizsár Keönch sang the entire repertoire and worked widely in Europe, as well as in America and Australia, as an oratorio and Lieder singer. There were very few countries important from the point of view of music that he did not perform in. He has appeared on a variety of recordings both at home and abroad. Besides contemporary music, his principal specialties are Baroque and classical era oratorios and the Romantic song literature. He was the first to sing Zoltán Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus in Australia, but this was not his only first: he is associated with the premieres of numerous contemporary works and composers such as György Ránki, Ferenc Farkas and György Kósa wrote all dedicated works to him.

Boldizsár Keönch started lecturing solo singing in the vocal faculty of the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1973, in other words, several singer generations can say they were brought up by Boldizsár Keönch, and everyone speaks of their years of study spent under him with the greatest respect, love and gratitude. He was a master in the classical sense of the word; he was teacher, mentor, friend, psychologist, task master to his students, depending on what was needed at the time. He not only observed them during their Liszt Academy years but he kept a close eye on the development of their later careers and - when needed - he helped in his own modest yet indispensible way. He was not interested in the glitter, he cared nothing for rapid, meaningless success as expressed in prizes. He continued to carry out his work just as unassumingly when, two years ago, he was awarded the Knight's Order of Hungary, as he had before this tribute. His interests lay in his work, the beauty of sound, the truth of expression and, naturally, the music itself. And teaching, which was his life, of course together with his much loved family, children and grandchildren. On the day following his death his daughter released a message according to which some of his last words were the following: “My dear Pannika, I’d like to teach until my final breath.” And so it was: he received private students as long as his illness permitted..

Recordings: F. Cavalli: Laetatus sum, Magnificat; M.A. Charpentier: Te deum; Hollós Máté: Fölfelé hulló levelek éneke; Lajos Bárdos: Choral Works; Dario Castello, Philibert Delavigne, Claude Gervaise, Jacques-Christophe Naudot, Tylman Susato, Antonio Vivaldi: Baroque & Renaissance Music; Mandel Róbert: Hurdy-gurdy Collection

Source: BMC Hungary Website; Obituary in Liszt Academy Website (February 2016)
Contributed by
Teddy Kaufman (September 2006, July 2016); Manfred Krugmann (Photo 02, September 2012; Dates, July 2016)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Karl Friedrich Beringer


BWV 245, BWV 248/1-6 [1st]

János Ferencsik


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Boldizsár Keönch (BMC Hungary)

Death of Boldizsár Keönch announced (Liszt Academy)

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 07:25