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General information  

  • Date of birth : 18/04/1907
  • Date of death : 27/07/1995

Alias  

  • Rozsa
  • Miklos
  • Rózsa Miklós

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Miklós Rózsa (1907)

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  Summary  

Miklós Rózsa (18 April 1907–27 July 1995) was a Hungarian-born composer trained in Germany (1925–1931), and active in France (1931–1935), England (1935–1940), and the United States (1940–1995), with extensive sojourns in Italy from 1953. Famous for his nearly one hundred film scores, he nevertheless maintained a steadfast allegiance to absolute concert music throughout what he called his "double life."

Rózsa achieved early success in Europe with his orchestral Theme, Variations, and Finale of 1933 and became prominent in the film industry from such early scores as The Four Feathers and The Thief of Bagdad . The latter project brought him to America when production was transferred from wartime Britain, and Rózsa remained in the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1946. His notable Hollywood career earned him considerable fame, including Academy Awards for Spellbound , A Double Life , and Ben-Hur , while his concert works were championed by such major artists as Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, and János Starker.

  Biography  

 early life
Miklós Rózsa was born in Budapest and was introduced to classical and folk music by his mother, Regina Berkovits, a pianist who had studied with pupils of Franz Liszt, and his father, Gyula, a well-to-do industrialist and landowner who loved Hungarian folk music. Rózsa's maternal uncle Lajos Berkovits, violinist with the Budapest Opera, presented young Miklós with his first instrument at the age of five. He later took up the viola and piano. By age 8 he was performing in public and composing. He also collected folksongs from the area where his family had a country estate north of Budapest in an area inhabited by the Palóc Hungarians.

Rózsa found Budapest culture constraining and sought to study music in Germany. He enrolled at the University of Leipzig in 1925, ostensibly to study chemistry at the behest of his father. Determined to become a composer, he transferred to the Leipzig Conservatory the following year. There he studied composition with Hermann Grabner, a former student of Max Reger. He also studied choral music with Karl Straube at the Thomaskirche, where Johann Sebastian Bach had once been the organist. Rózsa emerged from these years with a deep respect for the German musical tradition, which would always temper the Hungarian nationalism of his musical style.

Rózsa's first two published works, the String Trio, Op. 1, and the Piano Quintet, Op. 2, were published in Leipzig. In 1929 he received his diplomas cum laude. For a time he remained in Leipzig as Grabner's assistant, but at the suggestion of the French organist and composer Marcel Dupré, he moved to Paris in 1932.

In Paris, Rózsa composed classical music, including his Hungarian Serenade for small orchestra, Op. 10 and the Theme, Variations, and Finale, Op. 13, which was especially well received and was performed by conductors such as Charles Munch, Karl Böhm, Georg Solti, Eugene Ormandy, and Leonard Bernstein.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Miklós Rózsa", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.