Born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 25th, 1930, son of Dezso and Piroska Kiszely; he was an accountant, she was a painter and a poet. George grew up among artists and art appreciators. When his parents resided in Recife, Brazil, his mother's career as a painter and art teacher flourished.
George began his violin studies at the age of 14 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, where he was a student of Árpard Vig and Ferenc Gábriel, but he was unable to complete his degree because of the intensification of World War II. As his family had relatives in the Hungarian countryside, Deszo sought to hide them there. A very impacting story dates from that time: his parents considered it safe to return to the capital, but due to the Russian occupation, George's family and two or three other families were forced to hide in a basement. Nonetheless they were discovered by a drunk Russian soldier, who with a gun in hand, threatened to kill them all. However, when he saw George, still a boy, trembling, hugging his violin, he stammered something unintelligible and George took the violin and played "Black Eyes", a popular Russian song. The soldier lowered his gun and began to cry, leaving behind the room and a sugar cube, probably from his personal supply. George's family went into exile in Switzerland in 1946 and he studied with conductor Georg Kertész.
In 1947 the whole family came to Brazil, where they already had relatives. Their teachers at the time were Bela Móri and Bóris Jankov, both prominent professionals. The first years were difficult financially, although his development was fast and Bela Móri interceded in his favor, so that he could be admitted to the musical group of Rádio Tupi, playing the violin. Due to a fall that caused a fracture in his left wrist, he began to dedicate himself more intensely to the viola, since the high positions of the violin needed more time to recover. He never abandoned the violin, but he began to be genuinely interested in the sonority and possibilities of the viola repertoire. He graduated in 1960 as a violinist at the Alexandre Levy Conservatory, in São Paulo, obtaining a gold medal. He always found it easy to perform in public and continued to participate in competitions until he was 58, as he considered it an excellent way to remain in shape and study.
In 1964 he got a scholarship to study at the Santa Cecília Academy in Rome, Italy, when he was already holding the position of first viola at the Rio de Janeiro Theater Orchestra (Brazil). The resources for the scholarship, however, were mysteriously subtracted and because of that, in order to support himself and his wife, Clélia Ognibene, he obtained permission to work and joined the Rome Opera House Orchestra, the Baths of Caracalla Orchestra and other groups in Italy.
From 1968 on, back in Brazil, he became professor at the Villa-Lobos Institute of FEFIERJ (future UFRJ), a position he held until 1975. He participated as a profesor in numerous festivals. In 1973, he was certified as a professor by the Brazilian Society of Musical Education and became a reference as a professor of History of Music, History of Arts and Aesthetics. His activity as a lecturer would continue until the end of this life and in recent years, after his retirement from the São Paulo Municipal Theater, he taught at Maestro Fêgo Camargo Municipal School of Arts, in the city of Taubaté, until his death in 2010. He also founded the 1st youth orchestra of that city, between 1997 and 1998.
He was the winner of several competitions, including the "hors concours" prize for soloist of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (RJ, 1960), 2nd prize in the competition for violinists promoted by the São Paulo State Culture Commission (São Paulo, 1962), 1st prize in the Viola Contest promoted by MEC Radio (Ministry of Educations and Culture, Rio de Janeiro) whose podium was occupied by the "Hungarian Trio"; Bela Móri (3rd prize), Perez Dworecki (2nd prize) and George Kiszely (1st prize).
He held the position of first viola in various symphony orchestras: University São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Municipal Symphony Orchestra and Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater Orchestra. He also exercised intense chamber activity, integrating the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater String Quartet, São Paulo City String Quartet, Martins Fontes Quartet (Santos) and Taubaté City Opus Quintet.
George left an extensive phonographic production: His first recorded album was as a violist, recording the Johann-Christian Bach’s Concerto in C minor (complete), and short pieces by Faurè, Debussy and Ravel (Continental, 1956); Songs and Dances of the Renaissance (CBS, 1963); From the Time of the Empire (Party, 1964); Concerto Barroco vol. I and II (CBS 1966-1968); Music in the Imperial Court (series vol. 1, 2 and 3, Angel and MEC, 1968); Villa-Lobos Quartets nº 1 and 17 (Caravela, 1968); Brasiliana by Edino Krieger (work dedicated to him, CBS, 1963); Masters of Brazilian Music (compilation of previous recordings by diverse composers, CBS, 1969), Villa-Lobos Quartets nº 16 (VL Museum, 1966-1975), Alberto Nepomuceno Quartet nº 1 ( Pro Memus, 1960), Osvaldo Lacerda Quartet nº 2 (MIS, 1979) and Brasiliana by E. Krieger, with the Blumenau Chamber Orchestra (Polygram-Bosch, 1986).
He left an indelible impression on colleagues, friends and students: that of an artist living entirely for music, his passion for both instruments, his good taste in music, his overpowering sound, his versatility in styles, his gratitude for his well-being, his successful musical career, the company and friendship of colleagues of whom he considered himself a fan! George was also passionate about Brazil and its popular culture. Faced with the unavoidable foreign accent, and the changed gender of some words, when asked about his nationality he would proudly answer: “I am Hungarian-Baiano!”
* Text written based on the biography produced by his second wife, Yara Bianchi de Miranda.
Quarteto de Cordas da Cidade de SP. Da esquerda para direita: Maria Vischnia, Ariane Pfizter, George Kiszely e Zigmunt Kubala
Born on June 14th, 1912, in Budapest, Hungary. He became orphaned as a child and was welcomed in by Jeno Vida at his orphanage, created especially for Jewish children in the same city. It was also from Jeno that he got his first violin and the incentive to study music, like other children at that institution. Jeno was the grandfather of Edith Pereny, violist at OSM and great-grandfather of Betina Stegmann, who is currently the first violin of the São Paulo City String Quartet.
Bela studied viola at the Royal Academy in Budapest and one of the interesting stories of his life dates from that time: one day when he was taking the train trip that would take him to the conservatory, a gentleman sat down beside him and seemed very interested in the score he was playing. He was revising for a test he would take that same day. Annoyed, he ended up changing his seat, as he couldn't concentrate. What was his surprise when he entered the audition room and found that the man from the train, who was also on the juri, was none other than Béla Bartók himself?
Like so many Jewish brothers, Bela Móri immigrated to Brazil to escape from persecution during World War II and settled in São Paulo, where he worked intensely as a violist and professor, also teaching at the Tatuí Conservatory in the 1970s. He produced transcriptions and editions with suggested fingerings and a technical proposal especially designed for violists who, like him, had small stature and hands.
Bela Móri was the first viola for São Paulo Municipal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) from 1956 to 1982 and he was known for his beautiful sound and also for his quirky and irreverent sense of humor. Once, after Gisele's famous viola solo, a student greeted him, saying that he was studying viola. He turned the boy's neck and, not identifying the mark common on violinists and violists, replied "no, you don't study", turned his back on him and walked away.
Despite his difficult childhood and the immigration by lack of alternatives, those who knew him claim he was an extremely happy person and eternally grateful to Jeno Vida. Bela Móri died in 2006, in São Paulo.
* Cortesia do Naipe de Violas da Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de SP - OSM
Naipe de Violas da OSM - década de 80. Em pé - da esquerda para direita: Marcos Fukuda, Klaus Hellner, Akira Terazaki, Toshio Furihata, Edith Pereny, Gianni Visoná, Giovanni Paolo Momo.
Sentados - da esquerda para direita: Adriana Pace, Perez Dworecki, Renata Braunwieser, Bela Mori, Yoshitame Fukuda. Foto tirada durante uma confraternização em 27/10/1983.
Born on December 8th, 1920, in the hamlet of Tamási, Hungary. His birth name was Sándor Herzfeld, of German origin and his parents were Jewish. His mother, Ilona, took care of the household chores and his father, Armin, was a shoemaker. Sándor's childhood was poor and difficult. Armin, however, was very fond of music and traded a pair of shoes for a violin for little Perez, who soon began taking lessons from a musician from one of the gypsy orchestras that performed in his small village. The gypsy's instrument, however, was the cymbal and Perez became self-taught.
In the early 1940 's he joined the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Budapest to study violin and viola. Among his renowned teachers are Léo Weiner (1885-1960), Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) and Sándor Végh (1912-1997).
Perez lost his parents in one of the death camps of World War II and decided to move to another country. Accompanied by Katalin, his partner, he left for Austria on foot, but they stayed there for only a few months. Next, they stayed for a while in the city of Cadorna, Italy, where they bought the passports of a Polish couple, Perez and Sonia Dworecki. In 1947, they decided to immigrate to Paraguay, but passing through Brazil, they decided to settle here, due to the many job opportunities. Effectively, within a very short time in the country, he was hired as the first violist of the São Paulo Municipal Theater Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 30 years, from 1953 to 1983.
In the 1950’s, Perez worked intensely as a violist in radio orchestras such as: Gazeta, Tupi, Record, Cultura and the extinct Excelsior, having the opportunity to meet notorious composers and conductors, such as Radamés Gnattali, Villa-Lobos, César Guerra -Peixe and Henrique Simonetti and Camargo Guarnieri.
From these contacts, important works dedicated to the violist Dworecki emerged, such as the Concerto for Viola and orchestra and the Sonata for Viola and Piano by the composer Radamés Gnattali and the Three pieces for Viola and Piano, by César Guerra Peixe. Perez also participated in numerous recordings with Brazilian popular music artists including Agostinho dos Santos, Maysa, Gilberto Gil, Sérgio Bandeira, among others. He exercised intense academic activity, as a viola professor for 15 years (1972-1987) at the University of São Paulo (USP) and also participating in the music festivals in Curitiba and Londrina and the International Music Biennial at the School of Arts and Communication – University of São Paulo.
Holder of an extensive discography, Pérez Dworecki had his undeniable merit recognized through the various works dedicated to him and was one of the main musicians responsible for the dissemination of the viola in Brazil. He was also an important promoter of the work of Brazilian composers on the national and international scenario.
*Text written based on Hellen Mizael's master's thesis.
Upright, engaged, attentive, kind, humorous, honest, great friend, humanist. These are some of the adjectives we heard and read recently to describe our colleague Ricardo Kubala, who left us early on october 4th, 2021, victim of a brain aneurysm, at the age of 53. There were so many testimonies from shocked and saddened people that it would be possible to safely say that he was unanimous among friends and professional colleagues, synonymous with integrity and affection.
He was born on October 26th, 1968, in Rio de Janeiro, into a family of musicians. His father, the Polish Zygumnt Kubala, was an important cellist active in Brazil and his mother, Lina Kubala, was a pianist.
Ricardo graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Santa Marcelina College. He took further courses at the Berlin Philharmonic Academy (Vitae Foundation scholarship) and at the Karlsruhe Higher School of Music (DAAD and CAPES scholarship), mentored respectively by Wilfried Strehle and Madeline Prager. He participated in several festivals and courses, taught, among others, by Alberto Lysy, Max Rostal, Norbert Brainin and the Chillingirian Quartet. He obtained the Master’s and Doctor’s Degrees at the Campinas State University (Unicamp).
He performed in several critically acclaimed chamber groups, including Brazilian Soloists Orchestra (APCA Award for Best Camera Ensemble) and São José dos Campos String Quartet (APCA Award for Best Chamber Ensemble). As a guest musician with the Trondheim Soloists Chamber Orchestra (Norway), he participated in album recordings by Deutsche Grammophon label (Amadeus Music Award and Golden Harmony Award), in addition to having performed in several countries in Europe and the United States.
He premiered many works from the Brazilian and contemporary repertoire for viola, the result of a partnership with various performers and composers. As a member of Núcleo Hespérides, which is dedicated to research and dissemination of music from the Americas, he took part in the recording of the album “Sound of the Americas” (SESC label).
Ricardo was professor of Chamber Music, at Santa Marcelina College, and professor of viola, at the University of São Paulo (USP), at the Ribeirão Preto Campus. He has also taught at various festivals, such as Campos do Jordão, Londrina, Pelotas and Gramado, and gave master classes at universities in Latin America. He was currently professor of viola at the Arts Institute of the São Paulo State University (UNESP). A great supporter and encourager of ABRAV, he has been a member of the Fiscal Council since the First ENVIO (Viola Nacional Meeting), 2015.
Above and beyond the impressive curriculum, his intellectual openness transcended the limits of the instrument. In the words of his friend Luiz Amato "he was the owner of his time and the time of his friends, he took everything into his flow of time, into his ultra, super sharp perception, family, friends, enemies, dog, house, Italian viola, books, politics.”
On top of being an excellent teacher, he was a figure of support and reference for his students in all aspects of professional life and often also on a personal level. Extremely committed, his classes often went on beyond the scheduled time and his main foundation was the incessant pursuit of a beautiful sound.
The challenge for those who remain after his passing away, students, friends, family, is to make some sense of this irreparable loss. The general feeling is that we must be able to do justice to his existence and fight to perpetuate his ethical, aesthetic and intellectual ideals, allowing his flame to never fade away. We hope to be able to do it.