Death of an eminent violinist, 88

Death of an eminent violinist, 88


norman lebrecht

May 21, 2020

The Hungarian-born violinist Anton Kontra, a dazzling star across his adoptive Scandinavia, is no more.

Lars Bjørnkjaer, concertmaster of Royal Danish Opera, writes: Anton Kontra, who belonged to the absolute top of violinists worldwide has passed away. Thank you for the inspiration and so much more! R.I.P Anton. Your glorious playing will be missed.

A student of Ede Zathureczky in Budapest, he formed the Kontra Quartet, was concertmaster of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and inspired concertos by Swedish and Danish composers.

He also hit it off with Victor Borge.


  • Mick says:

    The longest tenure of his career was as concertmaster of Sjællands Symfoniorkester/Tivoli Orchestra, better known today as Copenhagen Phil. He worked there in 1965-88. The players in his famous and highly succesful quartet all came from that orchestra as well. Just to correct a rather strange omission in the main article here.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Such an excellent all-around artist, and it is a bit ironic that his humorous (but wonderfully played!) moment with Victor Borge has in part made him famous to a wider audience. His theory professor at the Liszt Academy was Kodály and I strongly recommend his CD of chamber works of Kodály that he made with Danish colleagues, Niels Ullner cello and Anne Oland piano.

  • Erik Pedersen says:

    In view of the fact that Anton Kontra gave us so much wonderful music through the years and musically belonged to the international elite, it’s embarrassing that the Danish Radio cannot even get his age at death right and write 87 instead of 88 – (his birthday was on March 29th).