Dohnányi, Ernő [Ernst von]
- Bálint Vázsonyi
(b Pozsony [now Bratislava], July 27, 1877; d New York, Feb 9, 1960). Hungarian pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Next to Liszt he ranks as the most versatile Hungarian musician, whose influence reached generations in all spheres of musical life. He is considered the first architect of Hungary’s musical culture in the 20th century.
He received his early training in Pozsony. His father, an outstanding amateur cellist, and Károly Forstner, cathedral organist, gave him lessons in piano playing and theory. Despite the absence of professional training, he showed an extraordinary appetite for music and made rapid progress. Having finished at the Gymnasium, he decided to obtain his formal education in music at the Budapest Academy. He was the first Hungarian of significant talent to do so and his example, as well as his personal intervention, induced Bartók (his friend from early schooldays) to follow the same course. Dohnányi studied the piano with Thomán and composition with Koessler, and received his artist’s diploma in ...