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Cziffra Concert Videos
Georges (originally György) Cziffra (November 5, 1921–January 15, 1994) was a Hungarian virtuoso pianist. He became a French citizen in 1968.
A son of Hungarian Roma (his father, György Cziffra Sr., was a cimbalom player and played in cabaret halls and restaurants in Paris in the 1910s), born in Budapest, Cziffra became noted at the age of five, improvising on popular tunes in bars and circuses. His teachers at the Franz Liszt Academy included Ernő Dohnányi.
An attempted escape from Soviet-dominated Hungary led to imprisonment and communist forced labour in the period 1950–1953. In 1956, on the eve of the Hungarian insurrection and after a stunning account of Bartok's second piano concerto (EMI References) Cziffra escaped with his wife (Soleilka - of Egyptian origin) and son to Vienna where his recital at the Brahmsaal caused a sensation. News of this event reached the magazine The New Yorker. His Paris debut the following year caused a furore - his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall in Liszt's first concerto and Hungarian Fantasy similarly. His meteoric career continued with concerts throughout Europe and debuts at the Ravinia Festival (Grieg and Liszt concertos with Carl Schuricht) and Carnegie Hall New York with Thomas Schippers. He always performed with a large leather wristband, as a memento of his years in labour. Georges Cziffra died in Senlis, France, 72 years old, from a heart attack resulting from series of complications from lung cancer due to smoking and alcohol. In "Cannons and Flowers", his autobiography, Cziffra recounts his life story up until 1977, the year he founded the Cziffra Foundation, sited in the Saint Frambourg chapel in Senlis, which he bought and restored, with the aim of helping young musicians at the outset of their careers.....