Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Gyula Károlyi

Gyula Károlyi

Gyula Károlyi

*31 I 1914 Lučenec

Gyula (Julian) Károlyi – 9th Prize winner, 2nd International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1932). Gyula Károlyi began learning the piano in early childhood with Margit Varró in Budapest. He then emigrated to Munich, where his teachers included Josef Pembaur Jr., Max von Pauer, Alfred Cortot and Ernő Dohnányi.

He made his first public performance at 19, playing a Chopin programme. The works of Liszt and Chopin would soon become his speciality.

In 1932, Károlyi came to Warsaw at the age of 18 to take part in the Chopin Competition, where he took 9th Prize. The Warsaw press wrote:

“Károlyi’s serious relationship with music set him apart from other competitors and made him the audience favourite. [...] If Károlyi’s development as an artist follows its natural course then undoubtedly the world will talk of him.”

One year after the Warsaw Competition, Károlyi entered the International Music Competition in Vienna. Pole Bolesław Kon took 1st Prize, Romanian Dinu Lipatti was second, and Mr. Károlyi reached the final stage but failed to place.

This did not hinder Károlyi’s international career, however. On 20th January 1933 he gave a highly praised performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor, in the presence of Hungarian Prince Regent Joseph and the diplomatic corpus.

He intensively toured throughout European. He played several times in London and New York, where he enjoyed particular renown. He was famous for his recital series during which he presented almost all of Chopin’s works. He also played many works by Liszt. It has been emphasized that in his interpretation Chopin was close to Liszt’s, who, in turn, was close to Débussy. Mr. Károlyi had a prodigious virtuoso technique.

In Germany, his name was written as Julian von Károlyi.

He recorded for Electrola and Deutsche Grammophon (Chopin’s both Concertos, 24 Preludes, Sonata in B flat minor, Fantasie in F minor, the Berceuse, Ballades, Impromptus, Mazurkas) and Eurodisc (Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, Valse oubliée, Spanish Rhapsody, Gnomenreigen, Waldesrauschen, Liebestraum No. 3).

Mr. Károlyi also sat in the juries of international piano competitions in Munich (1952) and Darmstadt (European Chopin Competition, 1986).

Stanisław Dybowski


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