kids encyclopedia robot

Márta Kurtág facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Márta Kurtág
Kurtág Márta.jpeg
in 2014
Márta Kinsker

(1927-10-01)1 October 1927
Esztergom, Hungary
Died 17 October 2019(2019-10-17) (aged 92)
  • Classical pianist
  • Academic piano teacher
Organization Franz Liszt Academy of Music
(m. 1947)

Márta Kurtág (Hungarian: Script error: No such module "IPA".; née Kinsker; 1 October 1927 − 17 October 2019) was a Hungarian classical pianist and academic piano teacher. She was the wife of György Kurtág, with whom she performed for 60 years, including at international festivals. They often played from his collection Játékok, which they also recorded together.


Márta Kurtág was born in Esztergom. She studied piano with András Mihály and Leó Weiner. She met her future husband, György Kurtág, in Budapest, where he had moved in 1946 to study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. They married in 1947, and their son György was born in 1954. György Kurtág received his degree in composition in 1955. Márta Kurtág taught at the Béla Bartók Music High School in Budapest from 1953 to 1963.

Following the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the couple lived in Paris from 1957 to 1958, where he studied with Max Deutsch, Olivier Messiaen, and Darius Milhaud. She taught music pedagogy at the Franz Liszt Academy from 1972.

Kurtág György, Kurtág Márta, Gerlóczy Sára
Left to right: Sára Gerlóczy, Márta Kurtág, and György Kurtág in 2014

Márta Kurtág was described as "of decisive significance in every field" of her husband's life, as a pianist with whom he performed and "as the first listener and critic of his compositions in gestation". They performed together for 60 years, in concert, for radio, and in recordings. They often played from his Játékok (Games), a collection of miniature pieces for two and four hands, including transcriptions of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Later volumes of Játékok are subtitled Diary Entries and Personal Messages. When her husband was the featured composer of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2004, she played with him from Játékok in a concert. They gave concerts at the 2008 Aldeburgh Festival, with violinist Hiromi Kikuchi and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard at The Maltings.

They also played from the collection in the Zankel Hall at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2009, in Paris at the Festival d'Automne and the Festival le Piano aux Jacobins, the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix-en-Provence, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Tonhalle, Zürich, among others. When György Kurtág received the gold medal from the Royal Philharmonic Society in London in 2013, they played together at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Márta Kurtág died on 17 October 2019 in Budapest.


In 1997, Játékok / György Kurtág, Márta Kurtág was released by ECM Records, including Bach transcriptions such as the Sonatina from Bach's Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106.

In 2015, the couple recorded Marta & Gyorgy Kurtág: In Memoriam Haydée, with pieces from Játékok and transcriptions, including again Bach's Sonatina from Actus Tragicus. A recording with pieces from Játékok and a Suite for Four Hands was issued in 2017, a collection of recordings made for Magyar Rádió between 1955 and 2001.

kids search engine
Márta Kurtág Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.