Thomas Gallia

Thomas Gallia was a close friend to János Sebestyén for more than forty years and was the sound engineer for dozens of his recordings. He was born 27 September 1921 in Budapest and came from a prominent musical family - his grandfather, István Thomán, studied piano under Liszt and was later Bartók's teacher. He was educated in the arts at Pázmány Péter University, studied telecommunication engineering at the State Polytechnic University, and in 1944 earned a piano diploma from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. His career began at the Hungarian Radio in 1947 and in 1951 he became chief engineer for MHV, the predecessor of Hungaroton. After the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 he worked in Paris for Pathé Marconi then Disques Charlin. In 1961 he moved to Milan where he was studio director for the Angelicum label. A few years later, with his colleague Paul Déry, he formed Sonart, an independent production company that produced recordings for numerous labels including Vox, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, STIL, Fonit Cetra and Astrée. After the Angelicum label closed in 1975, Sonart remained based in Milan until 1990, at which time Gallia relocated to Montpellier and established a new company, Sonart France. During the course of his career, Gallia was the engineer for nearly two thousand classical recordings, many with such important artists in the field of early music as Gustav Leonhardt, Scott Ross, Jordi Savall, Blandine Verlet, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and Paul Badura-Skoda. He died 17 August 1997 in Brig, Switzerland.


Thomas Gallia at the Angelium Studio in Milan where he was director, early 1960s.

Gallia with Jenő Fehérvári, former director of the Hungaroton record company, mid 1960s.


Thomas Gallia at his old flat on Via Trebazio in Milan, late 1960s.

Gallia with Tibor Kelemen at his new flat on Via Moscova, late 1960s.


Gallia with his daughter Valery, wife Brigitte, mother Katalin, and Paul Déry, early 1970s.

Gallia and his daughter Valery in Switzerland, 1980.


Gallia in Ernen, Switzerland with his daughter Valery, his aunt Ilona, Hungarian television producer Judit Kóthy, and his mother Katalin, 1993.

Gallia with pianist György Sebők in Ernen, where Sebők gave annual summer master classes and organized a music festival, 1993.

Gallia in Vienna with Dr. Jenő Randé, Hungarian ambassador and author, 1982 (above), and in Budapest, early 1990s (right).


Additional photos and information about Thomas Gallia can be found on the pages About This Site, Family, Musicians & Friends and Best of Friends.

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