Sad news: Hungary’s chief conductor has died, aged 64main
Thye death was reported today of Zoltan Kocsis, international pianist and music director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Budapest.
He had been suffering illness for some time.
Kocsis was, with Ivan Fischer, Hungary’s pre-eminent concert musician.
They co-founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983 but parted ways when Kocsis demanded a greater role in conducting.
Kocsis became a favourite of the rightwing Orban government and was rewarded with a position at the head of the national orchestra in the national hall. In my conversations with him, he seemed indifferent to politics.
As a pianist, he was sensitive and passionate in equal measure. He recorded the complete piano music of Bartok for Philips, among many other recordings.
UPDATE: Ivan Fischer’s response.