Resources on the Hungarian school of violin playing?

February 10, 2018, 5:34 AM · I'm a student currently studying in a Hungarian music school, but I can't really find any good resources on the historical Hungarian school of violin playing. I'm referring to the likes of Joachim, Auer and Szigeti.

Although my teacher herself learned to play in Hungary, she said she belongs more to the Soviet School than the Hungarian School, and as such couldn't help me on the topic. Does anyone have any good resources on the different schools of violin playing, and especially the Hungarian one?

Replies (10)

February 10, 2018, 6:25 AM · Hi, I think both Hungary and Austria as well as other parts of traditionally known “central Europe” including Romania, Czech, Poland were initially influenced by Franco-Belgian school especially French school of violin playing, and later influenced by Russian school, but this effect is mutual, as Russian also influenced by Central Europe.
Edited: February 10, 2018, 6:38 AM · You could do worse than checking out Kató Havas OBE.
February 10, 2018, 7:01 AM · A possible lead could be Jeno Hubay (, or Joseph Böhm
Historically, Hungary was a part of Austro-Hungarian empire for a long time, so it would be hard to find uniquely Hungarian lineage.... all paths lead to Vienna and other European cities.
One notable impact on music pedagogy was "Kodály method".
... and yes, after WWII, the influence of the so-called Soviet violin school was very much present in Eastern Europe.
If you are happy with you progress and have a good working relationship with your teacher, why bother? The lineage always starts with a notable performer.... and then the parrots come sooner or later.
February 10, 2018, 7:08 AM · My childhood violin teacher was Hungarian-American and very proud of that. His violin-playing career was interrupted by World War II, where he served in the United States Navy.
February 10, 2018, 7:17 AM · Hi everyone,
my name is Kristina Mirkovic,, i felt i should reply to this discussion:-) I have personally studied my violin master in Milan, Italy, with Prof Francesco Borali, great teacher, knows the soul of the violin,, who studied himself with Wanda Luzzato,, who studied herself with Jeno Hubay:-) All written in this book below, hope there is an english version:-)
Hope it was usefull:-)
February 10, 2018, 8:46 AM · Well, that's fine pedigree, Kristina ... but did you have tea with Mrs. Oistrakh?
Edited: February 13, 2018, 1:15 PM · A good place to start is Krisztina Anna Kromendy's doctoral dissertation, "The Art of Jeno Hubay and the Hubay-School." It can be found on the internet.

Two other important pre-WWII Hungarian teachers were Dezso Rados and Imre Waldbauer (whose quartet premiered one or two of Bartok's quartets). Both focused on understanding how the body works and connecting this knowledge with how one plays. In an interview, Rados stated that the Hungarian style combined scientific understanding of the body with the romantic style of Gypsy playing.

Paul Rolland and Kato Havas studied with Waldbauer. Janos Starker studied chamber music with Rados. I recommend that you read their books.

Finally, since you are living in Hungary, try to introduce yourself to Nathan Giem, who is a concertmaster of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is very knowledgeable about different styles of playing so he may be able to help you in your research.

Edited: February 11, 2018, 9:21 AM · One of of childhood teachers was Hungarian. His biggest influence on me, in retrospect, was his choice of repertoire. It was Bach, Beethoven, Mozart etc—All German. He disliked show pieces of any type.
February 12, 2018, 3:04 PM · It might be helpful to have a look at the writings of the most famous representative of the Hungarian school in the 20th century, Joseph Szigeti.
He wrote several books of which the best are his autobiography, "With Strings Attached", "A Violinist's Notebook" and "Szigeti on the Violin". He was a product of the Hubay school, of course, but also much influenced by Ysaye and Busoni.
February 13, 2018, 10:34 AM · There's a Zoltan Szekely autobiography worth checking out. The Hungarian school of the early 20th century goes through Hubay, who taught Szigeti and Gertler as well. I've always been fascinated with Szekely's sound and interpretation, and find Szigeti to be a little bit dry. Hubay was influenced by Joachim and Vieuxtemps to some extent. Joachim was taught by Boehm in Vienna and maybe somewhat by David, but reading Auer's telling, Joachim didn't address technique in his teaching.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music: Check out our selection of Celtic music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings
Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings

National Symphony Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra

Violins of Hope
Violins of Hope Summer Music Programs Directory
Find a Summer Music Program Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

ARIA International Summer Academy

Borromeo Music Festival

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine