Erkel, Ferenc (opera)
- Dezső Legány
(b Gyula, Békés county, Nov 7, 1810; d Budapest, June 15, 1893).Hungarian composer and conductor , the leading figure in Hungarian 19th-century opera.
The young Erkel frequently attended the chamber-music evenings held in his home town by the head of the county administration, Albert Rosty, a music lover who had studied in Vienna and on whose recommendation Erkel was eventually engaged by the National Theatre in Pest as an opera conductor. From 1822 to 1825 he attended the Benedictine Gymnasium in Pozsony (now Bratislava) and took music lessons privately. At that time Pozsony, not far from Vienna and mainly German in culture, was one of the few Hungarian towns outside Pest with a relatively high standard of musical life, giving Erkel the opportunity of attending operas and concerts and hearing the popular Hungarian dance tunes (verbunkos) of the violinist János Bihari. Further exposure to specifically Hungarian music was afforded him in Gyula in ...