Ivan Fischer on the death of a friend and rival

Ivan Fischer on the death of a friend and rival


norman lebrecht

November 06, 2016

The Hungarian conductor has issued the following statement on the death of Zoltan Kocsis:

Mély megdöbbenéssel és szomorúsággal hallottam a gyászhírt, Kocsis Zoltán elhunytát. Zenei óriás volt, a ritka zsenik egyike. Hatása egész generációjára felmérhetetlen. A Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar nevében és a saját nevemben is megrendüléssel búcsúzom a pályatárstól, alapító társtól, a sok-sok közös zenei produkció partnerétől, felejthetetlen muzsikus-példaképünktől. Nyugodjék békében.

Fischer Iván



Deep shock and sadness I heard the sad news, Zoltán Kocsis passed away. He was a musical giant, one of the rare geniuses. His impact on our whole generation is immeasurable. The Budapest Festival Orchestra on behalf and in my own name sincerely farewell track from co-founding partner, from the many common music production partner and unforgettable musician, a role model. May he rest in peace.


  • Jean Louis Steuerman says:

    Zoltan Kocsis was an outstanding, uncompromising musician, a cultured man, a poet and a lovely person. Music mourns, we all lose.

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      Cultured, he certainly was. Music wasn’t just a superior form of entertainment for him. It was sacred. A very, very great loss.

  • dingo says:

    his petrouchka is still my personal favorite of this piece

  • pooroperaman says:

    ‘in my own name sincerely farewell track from co-founding partner, from the many common music production partner’

    When I use Google Translate, I also get gibberish.

    • CounterTenor says:

      How much effort would it have taken for the editor of this site to work on making a more fitting tribute by adapting the Google translation?

      • norman lebrecht says:

        He did. Next request?

        • pooroperaman says:

          Well, it’s still nonsense. Perhaps, you could have paid a professional editor to turn it into real English. I know of at least one who could have done so in no time this morning.

          • Hilary says:

            It’s the most complicated of all languages.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            Oh, it’s worse than that….

          • pooroperaman says:

            English isn’t complicated. Once you’ve got the literal translation, it’s hardly difficult to turn it into reasonable sense. Frankly, it’s disrespectful to the deceased to leave it as such risible tosh.

  • Hilary says:

    Uncanny that Kocsis shared the same lifespan as the composer he is particularly associated with:Bartok.

  • Rosemary Hardy says:

    I am very very sad to read this, (late because I haven’t been reading my mails properly recently). I was a student at the same time as Zoli at the Liszt Academy, and saw him off and off all our life until just a few years ago. I had the joy of working with him many times at Hotel Römerbad in Badenweiler where Klaus Lauer used to produce the most fabulous concert cycles. Klaus was always very good to us musicians and Zoli more or less had a room there if he felt like just resting up and practising. We were performing Schubert, and he said..”I learnt a lot about Schubert with Richter”, and I just thought, “Then I need to be paying great attention!” He was a genius, absolutely, brilliant, slightly mad in the best way and wonderful to make music with and to sit and eat and drink a bottle of wine with.