At the Budapest Liszt Academy, Kertész studied first piano and composition with Zoltán Kodály and Leó Weiner, then conducting with Lászloó Somogyi (1949-1953). He was influenced by Bruno Walter and the then chief conductor of the Budapest Opera, Otto Klemperer. From 1953 to 1955, he conducted at Györ, from 1955 to 1957 at the Budapest Opera. In 1957, Kertész emigrated to West Germany, where he became chief conductor at the Augsburg Opera (1958-1963), then chief conductor at the Cologne Opera (from 1964). At Cologne, he conducted the German first performances of Verdi's "Sitffelio" and Britten's "Billy Budd" as well as numerous Mozart operas ("La clemenza di Tito", "Don Giovanni", "Così fan tutte", "Die Zauberflöte"). At the Salzburger Festpiele 1961, he conducted Mozart's "Die Entführung aus dem Serail". From 1965 to 1968, he also was chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1965, he conducted Verdi's "Un ballo di maschera" at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London). He was a frequent guest to the Israelic Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker and numerous other orchesteras. Shortly after being appointed chief conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker in 1973, Kertész died in a bathing accident during a concert tour in Israel.
German Conductor (of Hungarian origin)
* 1929-08-28 Budapest
+ 1973-04-16 Kfar Saba (Israel)
For more information see István Kertész Homepage by Mihoko Tajima or the Kertész Page at www.greatconductors.com.
Recordings with Fritz Wunderlich:
Fritz Wunderlich Homepage