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Istvan Nadas

Istvan Nadas was born in Hungary where he began his musical studies at the age of ten. He studied piano under Louis Kentner and Bela Bartok, composition under Zoltan Koday and chamber music under Leo Weiner.

Once launched on his career as concert pianist, he appeared frequently with the Budapest Philharmonic, his repertory including standard works in addition to less usual ones by Bartok, Stravinsky, and Honegger. Until the beginning of World War II, Nadas toured Europe extensively, but with the beginning of hostilities he had the misfortune to be put into a German concentration camp. His bitter experience left its marks, but did not take from him the ability or desire to continue his career.

After the end of the war Istvan Nadas appeared at the Bach Festival in Rome and won a high decoration from the Italian government. Then came the decision to settle in Venezuela where he became head of the Post-graduate Piano Course at the National Conservatory of Music. There followed numerous recitals in South and Central America. As a citizen of Venezuela, Nadas represented his adopted country at the International Music Festival in Venice, playing for the first time in Europe a recital composed entirely of modern Venezuelan composers.

Since 1953, at the invitation of Xavier University of Louisiana, he has been teaching piano master classes at this university. He has appeared as soloist several times with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra under Alexander Hilsberg. On the occasion of his New York Town Hall concert on October 5, 1954 the critics were enthusiastic about his “technique, musicianship, breadth of taste, freshness and individuality of vision,” his “ease and dramatic poetry,” his “tenderness, sensitive tone adjustments.” To a man they were amazed at the fact that “in a program that would have tested the capacities of the giants of the keyboard he more than held his own.” The contents of this formidable program in which Mr. Nadas distinguished himself included a Bach Partita, Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, a ProkofieffSonata, a Chopin Ballad and DeFalla’s Baetica. Among his recordings   are Beethoven Piano Sonatas(The Tempest, The Appassionata and the Les Adieux) on Period Records SPL-729, Schubert: Wanderer Fantasie and Moments Musicaux on Period Records SPL-719, J.S.Back : Two and Three Part Inventions on Repertoire Records RM 819, J.S.Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Books I +11 on Repertoire Records and 2 Volumes on Period Records of Contemporary composers.  He was most famous for his performances of the cycle of the complete 32 Beethoven Sonatas and cycle of the complete Beethoven Concerti.   He was an outstanding Bach specialist who performed many times at the famous Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel California.    

Mr. Nadas was a Professor of Piano at San Francisco State University from 1965 to 1968. From there he founded the Doctoral Program in Piano at Washington State University, continued to travel and concretize throughout the world including the program in music at Grass Valley Nevada. He subsequently took a teaching position in Mexico City, Mexico and spent much time in Italy and Europe.   He passed away quietly in Mexico in the year 2000.   He leaves behind many grateful students, colleagues, friends and family members, one of which is his son, Dr. John Nadas, Professor of Musicology at University of North Carolina at Temple Hill.  


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