Thomas Gallia

Thomas Gallia was János Sebestyén's closest friend for forty-seven 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 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. He moved to Milan in 1961, where he was director of the Angelicum studio. It was during this time that he established Sonart, a freelance production company that produced recordings for numerous labels, including Vox, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, STIL, Fonit Cetra and Astrée. Paul Déry was his partner in this operation from 1965. Sonart remained based in Milan until 1990, at which time Gallia relocated to Montpellier and established Sonart France. During the course of his career, Gallia was engineer for nearly two thousand recordings, many with leading early-music artists including Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, Scott Ross, Blandine Verlet, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Andreas Staier, Skip Sempé, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jordi Savall, Konrad Junghänel, René Jacobs and Sigiswald Kuijken. He died 17 August 1997 in Brig, Switzerland.

Paul Déry, recording engineer Pasquale Soggiu, and Gallia in Valli del Pasubio, Italy, 1975 (left); János Sebestyén and Gallia at work in the Angelicum studio, Milan, 1975 (above).

Gallia at work in the Angelicum studio, circa 1963.

Gallia with Jenő Fehérvári, former director of Hungaroton, in Milan, circa 1965.

Paul Déry, Gallia's partner at Sonart, in Milan, 1968.

Gallia at his old flat on Via Trebazio in Milan, 1968.

Gallia, with family friend Tibor Kelemen, at his new flat on Via Moscova in Milan, 1968.

Paul Déry and Gallia in Milan, 1971.

Gallia, with his daughter Valérie, wife Brigitte, mother Katalin, and Paul Déry, in Milan, 1971.

Gallia and his daughter Valérie in Switzerland, 1980.

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

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

Gallia with Dr. Jenő Randé, Hungarian ambassador to Austria and former colleague at Hungarian Radio, in Vienna, 1982 (above); Gallia in Budapest, early 1990s (right).

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

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