Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Dohnányi Ernő


Place of Birth
Pozsony (Bratislava)
Date of Birth

July 27, 1877 Bratislava - February 9, 1960 New York

At the turn of the century Ernst von Dohnányi dominated the musical life of his native Hungary. Born on 27th July 1877, young Ernő, as he was called, was quick to make a name for himself as a pianist and composer. When he was sixteen he attracted the attention of the elderly Brahms. By the time he embarked on his musical studies at Budapest he had already written several musical works. By 1897, having perfected his technique under Eugen d'Albert, he was ready to begin his highly successful career as a pianist, which took him to America at the age of only 23.

His success may be measured by the fact that when Bartók, who was four years younger, made his début as an equally brilliant pianist, he was hailed as a "second Dohnányi". Dohnányi's composing career had an equally auspicious start: in 1897 his first symphony and his Overture Zrinyi won hime the royal prize at the celebration of Hungary's millennium.

In 1905 Dohnányi took over a piano class at the Berlin Musikhochschule, but the outbreak of the First World War forced him to return to Budapest, where he and his friends Bartók and Kodály were appointed to take charge of music in the short-lived Hungarian Republic in 1919. Two years later he took over the presidency of the Hungarian Philharmonic Society and in 1923 the golden jubilee of the unification of Buda and Pest was celebrated at a festival concert which included the first performances of his Festival Overture, Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus and Bartók's Dance Suite. There followed a prolonged stay in the USA until 1928, when he returned to Hungary as a university teacher. He was made general music director of Hungarian Radio in 1931, and three years later succeeded Jenő Hubay as principal of the Budapest Conservatoire.

In 1948 Dohnányi had to leave Hungary for good, and after stays in Austria, England and Argentina, settled in the USA, where he taught at the Florida State College; he was made its "composer in residence". He also continued to perform widely as a pianist. He died on 9th February 1960, at the age of 82.

Dohnányi's output includes works in every musical genre from chamber music for various combinations to opera. His first concerto was written for the piano in 1899 and dedicated to d'Albert, but he did not confine himself to his own instrument: there followed a Konzertstück for cello and orchestra Op. 12 (1906), the Variations on a Nursery Song Op. 25 (1914) and the Violin Concerto Op. 27 (1920). He wrote another piano concerto and violin concerto, and his last work in the genre is a Concertino for harp, composed in 1952.

Dohnányi is seldom performed or recorded nowadays. This has more to do with the style of his works than with their intrinsic merit. Unlike his compatriot Bartók, he never felt impelled to venture into the musical unknown or to write revolutionary avant-garde music; his creative inclinations remained rooted in the late romantic tradition. Like Richard Strauss, he felt that the formal range and musical idioms of Brahms, Wagner and Dvorak were far from fully exploited. Strauss, however, underwent a change from the "classicism" of his early works to the comparative novelty of the tone poems, and this did not happen with Dohnányi.
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
Romantic Piano Favourites Vol.3. Naxos 8.570084
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites Vol.3. Naxos 8.550107
1993 Dohnányi Ernő: B-dúr szonáta Op. 8. / Lajtha László: Szonáta Op. 17; Concerto Op. 31
(Dohnányi, Ernst von: Sonata for cello & piano Op. 8. / Lajtha, László: Sonata for cello & piano Op. 17; Concerto for cello & piano Op. 31)
Hungaroton Own
1995 Bartók Béla: Rapszódia; Scherzo / Dohnányi Ernő: Változatok egy gyermekdalra
(Béla Bartók: Early Works for Piano and Orchestra, Rhapsody Op.1, Scherzo / Ernst von Dohnányi: Variations On a Nursery Song, Op.25)
Philips CD 446472-2 Own
1995 Dohnányi Ernő: Simona néni
(Dohnányi, Ernst von: Tante Simona)
Hungaroton HCD 31973 Own
First recording
1996 Liszt Ferenc: Esz-dúr és A-dúr zongoraverseny / Dohnányi: Változatok egy gyermekdalra
(Liszt: Piano Concertos in E flat major & in A major / Dohnányi: Variations on a Nursey Song Op. 25)
Hungaroton SLPD, HCD 31362 Own
1999 Dohnányi Ernő: Konzertstück for Cello - Cello Sonata - Ruralia Hungarica Naxos 8.554468
1999 Solos - XX. századi magyar kompozíciók szóló fuvolára
(20th C. Hungarian Works for Flute)
Hungaroton HCD 31785
1999 Magyar szerzők művei gordonkára
(Hungarian Cello Music)
Hungaroton HCD 31835
2000 Dohnányi Ernő: Zongoraművek 1.
(Dohnányi, Ernő: Piano Music 1.)
Hungaroton HCD 31910 Own
2001 50 éves a Hungaroton - Vonósművészek (1951-2001)
(Fifty Years of Hungaroton - String Players)
Hungaroton HCD 32091-3 3 CDs
2003 Dohnányi Ernő: Fisz moll zongoranégyes; Nászinduló; C-moll zongoraötös Op.1
(Dohnányi, Ernő: Piano Quartet in F sharp minor; Wedding March; Piano Quintet in C minor Op.1)
Hungaroton HCD 32148 Own
2003 Dances from Hungary
(Dances from Hungary)
Warner LC 6019
2004 Dohnányi Ernő: Zongoraművek 2.
(Dohnányi, Ernő: Piano Music 2.)
Hungaroton HCD 32191 Own
2006 Dohnányi Ernő, Mosonyi Mihály: Vonós szextettek
(Dohnányi Ernő, Mosonyi Mihály: String Sextets)
Hungaroton HCD 32300 Own
2008 Cello Recital: Bartók, Dohnányi, Kodály, Liszt Naxos 8.570570
2012 Women at the Piano - An Anthology of Historic Performances Vol.4 Naxos 8.111218
2017 Dohnányi Ernő: Vonósnégyesek I.
(Ernst von Dohnányi: String Quartets I.)
Rózsavölgyi és Társa Kiadó RETCD090 Own
2017 Az utolsó romantikus - Dohnányi amerikai koncertfelvételei
(The Last Romantic - Dohnányi's American concert recordings)
Rózsavölgyi és Társa Kiadó 2 CDs
2019 Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra: String Serenades Volume 1. (Dohnányi, Tchaikovsky) Hungaroton HCD 32764
2019 The Masters Collection: Tátrai Quartet Hungaroton HCD 32817–19 3 CDs
2019 Dohnányi Ernő: Vonósnégyesek II.
(Ernst von Dohnányi: String Quartets II.)
Rózsavölgyi és Társa Kiadó Own
2019 Szabolcs Szilágyi & László Borbély: Parallel Lives Vol.1. - Works by Ernst von Dohnányi and Béla Bartók for Flute and Piano Hunnia Records HRCD1901
2020 Jenna Sherry és Lőwenberg Dániel: Hegedű-zongora szonáták (Brahms: Op.120 Nos.1&2 / Dohnányi: Op.21)
(Jenna Sherry and Dániel Lőwenberg: Sonatas for Violin and Piano - Brahms: Op.120 Nos.1&2 / Dohnányi: Op.21)
BMC Records BMC CD 295
2022 In Media Brass: Divertimento Magánkiadás IMB01
Title Type Year
2 Kleine Scherzandos in E minor Instrumental solo 1888
3 Bagatelles in C sharp minor, D major, and A minor Instrumental solo 1887
6 Short Untitled Pieces Chamber Music 1886
Essential Fingerexercises Instrumental solo 0
GOOD-BYE Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1894
Adagio in A major Chamber Music 1886
Album Page in F major Instrumental solo 1899
At the Brook Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1912
American Rhapsody, Op. 47 Symphony orchestra 1953
Andante in D major, Allegro Vivace in D minor Chamber Music 1886
Aria for Flute and Piano, Op. 48, No. 1 Chamber Music 1958
Ave Maria Choir and orchestra 1891
CANON in C major Instrumental solo 1890
Cantus vitae, Op. 38 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1941
Concert (E-moll) für Pianoforte und Orchester, Op. 5 Concerto 1898
Concertino for Harp and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 45 Concerto 1952
Concerto in E minor in one movement, Op. 5b Concerto 1898
THE FLOWERMAID Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
THE FISHERMAN´S ABANDONED WIFE Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
THOU PRETTY FISHERMAID Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
The Abandoned Servant Maid Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
Psalm No. 6 Choir with solo voice(s) 1897
Der Schleier der Pierrette, Op.18 / Pierette´s Veil, Op. 18 Ballet / Choreographic work 1909
Der Tenor, Op. 34 / The Tenor, Op. 34 Opera 1927
The Miners Opera 1891
Students´ Song Mixed choir 1931
Three Orchestral Songs on Poems by W.C. Gomoll, Op. 22 Solo voice(s) with orchestra 1912
Three Pieces, Op. 23 Instrumental solo 1912
A Glance in Thine Eyes Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1894
Etude I-II in D major and C major Instrumental solo 1886
FANTASIESTÜCK (UNG. FANTASIE) in A major Instrumental solo 1891
Fugue in D minor Instrumental solo 1913
PRAYER Instrumental solo 1884
GRAND SONATA in C major Chamber Music 1889
Gavotte und Musette Instrumental solo 1898
Grande quator, No. 2 in G minor Chamber Music 1890
HEDA (HEDWIGIANA) - SIX PIANO PIECES Instrumental solo 1891
HUMORESKEN IN FORM EINER SUITE, Op. 17 Instrumental solo 1907
Six Piano Pieces, Op. 41 Instrumental solo 1945
Violin Duet in G-Major Chamber Music 1895
Hymn to Prince Saint Henry Mixed choir 1929
Profession of Faith - National Prayer Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1920
III. Quartet in A minor Chamber Music 1893
IMPROMTU in A major Instrumental solo 1888
IMPROMTU in F minor Instrumental solo 1892
As in a Mirror i See Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1893
Im Lebenslenz, Op. 16 / In the Prime of Life, Op. 16 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1907
Intermezzo in G minor Instrumental solo 1898
Ivas Turm, Op. 30 / Iva´s Tower, Op. 30 Opera 1922
ROYAL ANTHEM Mixed choir 1891
KYRIE in A major Choir and orchestra 1893
Kadenzen zu W.A. Mozart´s Klavierkonzert Es Dur für zwei Klaviere K. V. 365 Chamber Music 0
Konzert für Violine mit Orchester in D moll, Op. 27 Concerto 1915
Konzertstück in D-dur, Op. 12 Concerto 1904
Congratulation Mixed choir 1930
MAZURKA I-II in B flat minor and B flat major Instrumental solo 1889
MAZURKA in C major Instrumental solo 1888
Hungarian March - March of the National Unity Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1932
Hungarian Future Choir a cappella 1921
Hungarian Christmas Carols Solo voice(s) with chamber orchestra 1931
Hungarian Folk Songs Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1922
Missa Solemnis in C major Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1892
Missa in dedicatione Ecclesiae - Mass for Szeged Op. 35 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1930
Venus of Murány Opera 1931
Novelette for Piano in E major Instrumental solo 1891
OVERTURE in B flat major Symphony orchestra 1892
Offertorium Unspecified instrument(s) 1895
Fantasie for Organ in C Minor Instrumental solo 1892
PASTORALE in A minor Instrumental solo 1888
Passacaglia Op. 6 Instrumental solo 1899
Passacaglia for Flute Solo Op. 48, No. 2 Instrumental solo 1959
Pastorale - Hungarian Christmas Carol: ´The Angel from Heaven´ Instrumental solo 1920
Pater noster Mixed choir 1892
QUARTET NO. 2 in D flat major Op. 15 Chamber Music 1906
QUATOR in D minor Chamber Music 1894
QUATUOR NO. 1 in D major Chamber Music 1889
QUINTET in B flat major Chamber Music 1889
QUINTET in G major Chamber Music 1889
Quartet in A Major, Op. 7 Chamber Music 1899
Quartet No. 3 in A minor Op. 33 Chamber Music 1926
Quintet No. 2 in E flat minor Op. 26 Chamber Music 1914
REGRET Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1893
ROMANCE in A minor Instrumental solo 1891
ROMANCE in F sharp minor Instrumental solo 1894
Rondo Alla Zingarese (Johannes Brahms) Instrumental solo 0
Pictures of Rural Hungary - Andante Rubato for Cello or Violin, and Piano Op. 32/d Chamber Music 1924
Pictures of Rural Hungary - Three Pieces for Violin and Piano Op. 32/c Chamber Music 1924
Pictures of Rural Hungary - Five Pieces for Orchestra Op. 32/b Symphony orchestra 1924
Pictures of Rural Hungary - Seven Pieces for Piano Op. 32/a Instrumental solo 1924
SCHERZINO in A minor Instrumental solo 1888
SCHERZO in A major Instrumental solo 1888
SECHS FANTASIESTÜCKE Instrumental solo 1890
SONATA NO. 2 in G minor Instrumental solo 1890
SONATA in G major Chamber Music 1886
SONATE NO. 1 in A major Instrumental solo 1890
SONATE in B flat major Instrumental solo 1890
SONATE in G major Chamber Music 1888
SYMPHONIE in D minor für grosses Orchester Op. 9 Symphony orchestra 1901
Sechs Gedichte, Op. 14 / Six poems, Op. 14 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1906
Six Concert Etudes Op. 28 Instrumental solo 1916
Second Pianoforte Concerto in B minor Op. 42 Concerto 1947
Second Violin Concerto in C minor Op. 43 Concerto 1950
Serenade Op. 10 Chamber Music 1902
Sextet in C Major Op. 37 Chamber Music 1935
Sonate für Pianoforte und Violine - Cis moll Op. 21 Chamber Music 1912
Stabat Mater, Op. 46 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1953
Waltz Suite for Two Pianos Op. 39a Chamber Music 1945
Waltz Suite, Op. 39 Symphony orchestra 1943
Suite in F sharp minor, Op. 19 Symphony orchestra 1909
Suite in Olden Style Op. 24 Instrumental solo 1913
Symphonie in F major Symphony orchestra 1896
Symphony No. 2 in E Major Op. 40 Symphony orchestra 1944
Holy Torch Ballet / Choreographic work 1934
Symphonic Minutes for Orchestra Op. 36 Symphony orchestra 1933
TARANTELLA in C minor Instrumental solo 1890
TARANTELLA in E minor (1887) Instrumental solo 1887
TARANTELLA in E minor (1888) Instrumental solo 1888
Tante Simona, Op. 20 / Aunt Simona, Op. 20 Opera 1912
Three Singular Pieces Op. 44 Instrumental solo 1951
Two Waltz / Zwei Walzer (Johann Strauss) Instrumental solo 0
UNTITLED BAGATELLE in D major Instrumental solo 1890
UNTITLED PIECE in A minor Chamber Music 1886
FOUR PIANO PIECES Op. 2 Instrumental solo 1897
FOUR RHAPSODIES Op. 11 Instrumental solo 1904
Valse Boiteuse for Pianoforte Solo Op. 39b Instrumental solo 1947
Sextet for Strings in B-flat Major Chamber Music 1893
Variations on a Theme by Uncle Bókay Instrumental solo 1927
Variations on a Nursery Song, Op. 25 Concerto 1914
Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song Op. 29 Instrumental solo 1917
WALZER Op. 3 Chamber Music 1897
WALZER in C sharp minor Instrumental solo 1888
HOW DARK AND STILL Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
LULLABY Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1894
WILD RIDE Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
Little Forest-Sprite Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1905
Dedication Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1926
Winter Round Dance - Ten Bagatelles, Op. 13 Instrumental solo 1905
TWO LITTLE SONGS Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1892
Quator in F-sharp minor Chamber Music 1891
Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 1 Chamber Music 1895
At Thy Feet Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1891
Sonata in B-flat Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 8 Chamber Music 1899
´Zrínyi´ Overture in G minor Symphony orchestra 1896
Transcription - Leo Delibes: Zwei Walzer Instrumental solo 0
Transcription - Schubert: Valses nobles Instrumental solo 0
Song of Welcome Choir and orchestra 1891
Festival Overture for Symphony Orchestra, Op. 31 Symphony orchestra 1923