Review

Új Élet
January 1983

Péter Szabó in the Weimarhalle

He was very young, only fifteen years old when he made his concert debut with an independent cello recital. Since then he has received several awards at the finals of the national festival Megéneklünk, Románia. He was only a teenager when as the soloist of the National Philharmonics of Marosvásárhely he performed the cello concertos of Saint-Saens, Bocherini and Haydn --and here we have to remark that unlike the violin, the cello is not the instrument of premature child genius, such a rapid development is very rare in this case. He works with the persistence of a stage performer. On many occasions he has participated in international master classes where he was lucky enough to have professors who indirectly mediated in him the ideas of the great Casals. Among his masters were Miklós Perényi, László Mező and the French Meunier who all knew Pablo Casals personally and also worked with him. At present he studies at the academy of Cluj-Napoca under the excellent Valentin Arcu.

Péter Szabó just turned twenty. A great opportunity emerged for him: he was invited to the twenty-third international music seminar in the German Democratic Republic. Another fifteen of his colleagues in Cluj also took part in the courses where young talents longing for a stage career gathered from every part of the world. The seminar's final concert is commented by the young artist.

- The philharmonics of Jena gave a concert in the wonderful, reconstructed concert hall of Weimar that seats 1200 people. Beforehand the conductor listened to the participants of the courses. I was not prepared for the Dvorák cello concerto, but I got down to it and worked day and night for a week. I succeeded; I was chosen to be the soloist out of the 30 cellist. (One Romanian guest artist also received this privilege, Lia Dobric played Schumann's piano concerto.) I was so unprepared for such an honor that I had not even packed black clothes for Weimar. I sat on the stage in shirt and jeans but the audience paid attention to Dvorák and the interpretation and not to my clothing. It was a success. The review was also written by an earlier Casals student, Berg who spoke highly of my performance... I hope I will receive the opportunity this year to give concerts here at home too. I was already invited to Szatmár and probably I will also give a solo recital in Bukarest.

Lajos Erdélyi

Translation by Susan Kapás

Péter Szabó cellist, conductor, music editor
Péter Szabó's recordings are available on Amazon.com: