ERNŐ DOHNÁNYI (1877 - 1960)
Ernő Dohnányi was born in Poszony (now Bratislava) in 1877 and opted for further musical study in Budapest rather than, more conventionally, in Vienna, setting an example that was followed by his younger contemporary Bartók.
He played a leading part in forming the musical culture of Hungary, although there were difficulties with the regime that replaced the first republican government of the country. In spite of his overt opposition to the association of Hungary with National Socialist Germany, he found it necessary to spend his final years in America, dying in New York in 1960. As a composer Dohnányi was versatile, continuing existing traditions of music, while as a pianist he enjoyed international fame.
Although there is much in the music of Dohnányi to give pleasure, he is probably still best known abroad for his Variations on a Nursery Theme for piano and orchestra. His Konzertstück for cello and orchestra is a full-scale concerto for the instrument, for which he also wrote a sonata and a cello-and-piano arrangement of Ruralia Hungarica.
Dohnányi left three strings quartets and two piano quintets, in addition to versions of Ruralia Hungarica for violin and piano.
Dohnányi was one of the most distinguished pianists of his time. He made a significant contribution to late-Romantic piano repertoire in a variety of pieces, particularly in the six Concert Études of 1916.