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Varga, Laszlo (1924-2014) | Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives

Name: Varga, Laszlo (1924-2014)

Historical Note:

Laszlo Varga was born in Hungary in 1924 and was educated at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, studying with Adolf Schiffer and Leo Weiner. During his long career, he has appeared as a premier soloist with major orchestras throughout the world. For eleven years, he was principal cellist with the New York Philharmonic, performing under both Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein.

Varga also played with the Lerner Quartet, the New York City Opera, the Canadian String Quartet and the Borodin Trio as well as founded the New York Philharmonic Cello Quartet in the 1950s, the first cello quartet in the United States. Over the years, he has been a featured performer and respected teacher at the Aspen, Chautauqua and Shreveport music festivals, among many others. In addition, he has conducted major orchestras such as the Budapest Symphony and the San Leandro Symphony, and for twenty-five years, served as both director and conductor of the San Francisco State University Symphony.

After teaching at the University of Toronto Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University, Laszlo Varga was for a number of years on the music faculty at the University of Houston, receiving the University's Outstanding Faculty Award in 2003. Among many other awards and recognitions, he was presented the distinguished title of "Chevalier du Violoncelle" by Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University in 1991. Varga has recorded for major labels such as RCA, VOX, Columbia, Decca, Sony/Phillips and MusiCelli.

Sources: http://library.uncg.edu/info/depts/scua/collections/cello/items.aspx#varga

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