Géza Anda

The Pianist


Géza Anda was admitted to the famous Liszt Academy in Budapest at the age of just thirteen, and received his training from its legendary professors of the time such as Ernst von Dohnányi and Léo Weiner. A scholarship then enabled him to continue his studies in Berlin. Anda managed to emigrate to Switzerland during the Second World War, and from then on made this country his home. But his career took him across all of Europe and on repeated tours to the USA, Japan, Korea and South Africa. He performed with all the great conductors from Fricsay to Abbado and Boulez.



Géza Anda’s approach to music was shaped by the typically broad training provided by the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and was determined by a rational, extremely detailed, lucid analysis of the musical text at hand. Both as a performing musician and as a teacher, he placed importance on the most exact examination of the score before then setting himself free of it in order to attain a highly individual, personal interpretation of the music: “If you want to interpret a work, you can’t learn it”, he said; “you have to become completely at one with it”.



Géza Anda is best known for his committed advocacy of the piano concertos of Bartók and Mozart. He gave more than 300 public performances of Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto, and his recording of all three remains the benchmark for them today. He was the first pianist to record all of Mozart’s piano concertos, directing them from the keyboard. But these cycles form only a small part of Anda’s vast discography and barely reflect his broad repertoire, which ranged from Bach to Rachmaninov and in the 1950s also encompassed contemporary music.