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Owen Mortimer

Márta Kurtág dies aged 92

9:30, 25th October 2019

The Hungarian pianist and teacher Márta Kurtág, wife of the composer György Kurtág, has died aged 92

Born in 1927 at Esztergom in northern Hungary, Márta (nee Kinkser) studied at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where she was a student of István Antal, Pál Kadosa and Lajos Hernádi.  She married György in 1947 and was his partner and artistic collaborator for more than seven decades. Many of Kurtág’s piano works were written to be performed with four hands alongside Márta.

As a soloist and chamber musician Márta performed at many of the world’s leading festivals and venues, including Carnegie Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Zurich’s Tonhalle and Mozart Week in Salzburg. Her discography features albums for labels such as ECM, Col Legno and BMC. In 2017, she and her husband were awarded the Franco Buitoni Special Award for their outstanding contributions to the world of music.

Paying tribute to Márta, Iván Fischer said: ‘I have never seen a couple more affectionately connected than Márta and György Kurtág. They shared everything from the meaning of each note of Gyuri’s compositions to the wonderful musical help they have been offering to their students. Márta was a great musician and a great human being.’

Márta Kurtág, pianist and teacher, born 1 October 1927; died 17 October 2019

Márta and György Kurtág play Bach transcriptions by Kurtág

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