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Albert Siklos

Albert Siklos was born on 26 June 1878 in Budapest (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) as Albert Schönwald. He studied music theory and cello at the Hungarian Music School from 1891 and attended the composition class of Hans Koessler. Albert Siklos graduated in 1899 and first became a cellist of the Philharmonic Society in Budapest. Around that time at the turn of the century he decided to replace his German-sounding surname into one more Hungarian. From 1905 Albert Siklos first taught as a lecturer at the Fodor Music School (now: Aladar Toth Music School) until 1919. Since 1910 he also held courses in music theory at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music and became a professor in 1913. After the death of Victor von Herzfeld, the previous professor for composition, he took over his position and remained there until his own death. Notable students of Albert Siklos during his teaching career were Ferenc Farkas, Endre Szervanszky, Ferenc Fricsay or Jenö Adam.


Albert Siklos wrote several books on music theory for his work as a professor and to teach students. These publications on composing, score reading, instruments, harmony, Hungarian music history or music esthetics were benchmarks in Hungarian music education for decades. Although Albert Siklos composed successfully music throughout his lifetime, he is now best rememberred for his written works on music theory.


Nevertheless Albert Siklos was a prolific and often performed composer. One of his very first compositions was a cello concerto in 1896 during his student years, which he premiered the same year as a soloist with the orchestra of his music school. For his work as a lecturer at the Fodor Music School he composed hundreds of small piano pieces that were regularly performed by students of the school in recitals. Beside that he created two symphonies, concertos, chamber music, songs, an opera and in 1933 he was one of the first Hungarian composers to write music for a radio drama.


Albert Siklos died on 3 April 1942 in Budapest.


The Violin concerto by Albert Siklos was written in 1899, in his senior year at university. The original autograph is archived at the Hungarian National Library „Országos Széchényi Könyvtár“ and was basis for my publication of the full score below. I found no information about a world premiere and it seems the work remains unperformed so far.


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© Tobias Broeker