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Lajós Rovátkay (Harpsichord, Organ, Conductor)

Born: 1933 - Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian harpsichordist and conductor, Lajós Rovátkay, was born in 1933 in Budapest. His father was the painter, professor at the School of Applied Arts. Lajós started playing piano at age 6, when he attended the elemantry school Óbuda. The he studied at the Archbishop's High School. He began platying the organ in 1951 at a church in Budapest, and accompanied the local choir. In 1853 he began his studies at the at the Bartók Conservatory, specialising in organ. He began his self-examinations of J.S. Bach and the music of earlier times. He served as organist at the South-Cistercian Church in Budapest. From 1954 to 1956 he studied at the Frenc Liszt Music Academy majoring in organ and musicology.

Lajós Rovátkay founded the instrumnental and vocal ensemble Collegium Musicum, to perform the little-known of the 16th-18th 18th-centuries. the big debut-concert under his direction was planned for 1956 at the Great Hall of Music Academy in 1956. However, he flew from Hungary before the concert at the end of November 1956 across the Austrian border. A few weeks after the stay in Vienna, he spent a few months in Italy, near Venice, spending his time at the monastery guest-house. He performed for the Hungarian the refugees in various events, playing Hungarian music on piano. In March 1957 he ame back to Vienna, where he got a Ford scholarship to continue his studies in Germany. In 1957 he began organ and harpsichord studies in Frankfurt / M. as an apprentice with the world-famous blind organist and Bach interpreter Helmut Walcha. After graduation he studied privately. In addition he attended the Frankfurt University of Music Theory faculty as a guest student.

In 1962, Lajós Rovátkay was invited by the Hannover Music School as harpsichord and organ teacher. In 1963 he married in Hannover. His wife is a flute virtuoso players, who studied at the same institute and later became Professor there. Their two sons were born in 1964 and 1967. In 1970 he was apponted Professor at the Hannover Music School.

Lajós Rovátkay has given concerts as a soloist (harpsichord, organ), chamber musician, and conductor. He has founded his own Baroque orchestra, performed major Baroque opera (1989-1990, in Hannover, Braunschweig, Boston), appeared at early music festivals (Brugge, Berlin, Boston, etc), made CD recordings; published sheet music publications (mostly long felfedetlen valuable compositions), and received several awards.

In 1998, Lajós Rovátkay retired from the Hannover Music School. He is still an active musicaian (concerts, CD recordings). He gave concerts and master-classes for several years in Hungary. He is occassionally a visiting Professor at the Frenc Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest.

Source: Az Érseki Katolikus Gimnázium 1943-1948 (May 2006), Source: English translation by Aryeh Oron (July 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2012)

Lajos Rovátkay: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Rovárkay Lajos (Az Érseki Katolikus Gimnázium) [Hungarian]


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