JÁNOS SEBESTYÉN
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May 2015
Miklós Spányi, outstanding artist and former student of János Sebestyén, has patiently restored Sebestyén's Sperrhake harpsichord and in January played it for a new recording of Ferenc Farkas's Concertino for Harpsichord and String Orchestra to be published in December by Toccata Classics. He also played this special instrument for the first two recitals in a series of four devoted to Parts I and II of Bach's Clavier-Übung. The recitals took place 1 March and 10 May. The series will continue 13 September and 8 November. Additional details will be available at the venue website: FUGA.

 
August 2013
A concert given in memory of János Sebestyén by organist István Lantos took place 24 August at the Catholic Church in Balatonszemes, Hungary. Lantos, Sebestyén's partner at the organ and piano for more than 25 years, was joined by soprano Júlia Vajda, soloist of the Szeged National Theater. The evening was hosted by József P. Kovács and a reception followed at the residence of Mária Hegyessy.

 
July 2013
A new monument in memory of János Sebestyén and his parents, Sándor Sebestyén and Rózsi Mannaberg, was dedicated 2 July at Farkasrét Cemetary in Budapest. The ceremony, lead by József P. Kovács, was attended by a number of close friends and colleagues, including Éva Bató, Mária Hegyessy, Judit Hidasi, Éva Szilágyi, Erika Fodor, Klára Hrabéczy, Terézia Kungle, József Somogyvári, Sándor Mátyus and his wife Ágnes, Lóránt Kovács and his wife Mária, Ernő Tálas, Borbála Dobozy and Anikó Horváth.

 
February 2012
János Sebestyén's funeral service was held 24 February 2012 at Farkasrét Cemetery in Budapest.

A message from Judit Hidasi:

Dear Friends,

It is difficult to find words to express what a great loss the music community has suffered, not only of Hungary, but the whole world, by those who loved and respected János as an outstanding artist and exceptional personality.

He passed away at 9:55 a.m. Saturday, February 4, at Szt. János Hospital after a long struggle for his life - by both the doctors and himself. He had in parallel several diseases - multiple strokes, infarction, internal bleeding and pneumonia - just to mention the most important ones, out of which even one would have been enough to prove fatal - as one of the doctors summarized. With the exception of the final days he managed to stay conscious - and he himself was hoping for recovery to his last minutes. Ultimately it was his heart that ceased to function. As we all are aware - who had the privilege to know him and be his friends - he loved life and wanted to live and decided never to give up. He loved and cherished his friends, his pupils and his colleagues. He was not simply a man - he was an "institution" and it is hard to believe that there will be no more Fillér utca concerts...

Peace with him at his eternal rest!

5 February 2012

 
December 2011
The Hungarian music community has suffered the loss of one of its finest musicians. Zoltán Gyöngyössy, world famous flutist, lost his life in a car accident near Budapest on the afternoon of 29 December. He was one of the genuinely outstanding musicians of his country. With a particular fondness for contemporary music, many composers dedicated works to him, and he was a favorite performer of György Kurtág. He excelled in baroque and classical music as well, and collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras. He belonged to the group of János Sebestyén's closest friends, which also includes the musicians István Lantos and Ernő Tálas; the four of them having performed together regularly throughout Hungary for more than a decade. A vigil was held 6 January at the Academy of Music in Budapest. János Sebestyén remembers Zoltán Gyöngyössy here.

Dr. Otto Quittner, founder and president of Qualiton Imports, passed away 21 December 2011 at his home in New York City. He was born 16 June 1924 in Budapest and practiced law in Hungary before emigrating to the United States. In 1964 he established Qualiton as an import company for Hungarian classical recordings, later expanding the business to include the Czech label Supraphon and many other classical labels from throughout Europe. International music and several American labels were eventually added to the catalog. With the advent of CDs in the early 1980s, Qualiton was one of the first distributors to supply CDs to the North American market. Otto Quittner is survived by his wife Judith, vice-president of Qualiton, and daughter Anita. The Quittner's homes in New York and Budapest served as regular meeting places for musicians, artists and diplomats. He was an extremely intelligent and interesting man, and a good friend to János Sebestyén for more than 40 years. A funeral service was held 23 December.

 

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