Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies

Ernst von Dohnányi

Born: July 27, 1877 in Poszony, Hungary
Died: February 11, 1960 in New York, New York, America
Nationality: Hungarian
Era: Romantic
Main genre: Piano and Pianoforte.
Main works:
Variations on Hungarian Folk Songs (1916)
Pastorale (Hungarian Christmas Song) (1920)
Ruralia Hungarica (1924)
Variations of a Nursery Song (1913)
American Rhapsody (1954)
Brief biography:

Von Dohnányi first studied music with his father, a math teacher at the local secondary school. He later studied at the Royal Academy, Budapest from 1894 to 1897. He became the pupil of many a composer and subsequently learned from them how to compose music. Ernst von Dohnányi studied first on the pianoforte then later on the piano. He later studied music with other composers and started to compose music himself. By 1897 he started to compose music that quickly became nationally recognized. Ernst's success grew quickly as did his talent for composing. He toured all over Europe and the U.S. establishing himself as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. Von Dohnányi was also a permanent conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra from 1919 to 1944. Ernst left Hungary after the Second World War and moved to Florida, where he taught music at Florida State University. He stayed there until his death in 1960.

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