Tibor Varga

The Hungarian violinist, teacher and conductor Tibor Varga was born at Györ on 4 July 1921. He gave his first public performance at the age of six, and when he was ten, he gave his first concert with an orchestra, playing the Mendelssohn concerto, and began studies with Franz Gabriel and Leo Weiner at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He toured Europe whilst still in his teens and performed more widely after the Second World War.

During a seventy-year career he played for many famous conductors and orchestras, and recorded for companies such as Columbia, DG and EMI. In 1951 he gave the European première of Schoenberg's Violin Concerto, for which the composer wrote him a letter of praise.

He moved in 1947 to England and in 1956 to Sion in Switzerland, which he made his home for the rest of his life. Here he began to conduct and founded a summer music academy (in 1963), the Festival Tibor Varga (1964) and the Tibor Varga Violin Competition (from 1967).

Tibor Varga died on 4 September 2003 in Grimisuat, Sion, Switzerland, aged eighty-two.