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.

Szendrey-Karper László


Place of Birth
Date of Birth

January 28, 1932, Budapest - 1991. február 12., Budapest

László Szendrey-Karper was born is Budapest on January 28, 1932. His father József Szendrey-Karper was the throat doctor of many Hungarian singers, and his mother Klára Edvi Illés was a high school teacher of mathematics and physics. Their son's talent was first noticed in the area of mathematics. At this time he was merely four years old. Ha had the guitar in his hands at the age of five, and from 1939, he became the student of Ernő Kárpáthy, and later of Barna Kováts. After a few smaller recitals, the radio asked him to perform on a public studio concert live in 1948, at the age of sixteen. From 1950, he studied architectural engineering for two years at the Budapest Technical University, but in the end, he decided in favor of playing the guitar. In 1952, he entered the Conservatory and studied composition with Rezső Sugár.

In 1955, he took part on the World's Youth Meeting (VIT) of Warsaw, where he was awarded the VIT prize: a gold medal. In that same year, here at home he received the award of Work Merit. He became the national soloist of the National Philharmonic on April 1, 1957, and after this he played concert after concert equally at home and abroad. One year later on March 26, 1958, he played his first concert at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, which after this became a traditional concert every year until his death.

The first important step in László Szendrey-Karper's pedagogic work, was establishing the guitar faculty at the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music in Budapest in 1962. He started the training of guitar teachers at the Franz Liszt Music Academy's Teacher Training Institute in Budapest in 1966. With this, he established the Hungarian organized guitar teaching, which today still runs the way he imagined it. In 1962 he received the Franz Liszt Prize for his artistic work. In 1963, he married the outstanding opera singer Karola Ágay. From that point on, they often did concerts together at home and abroad. For the 1000 year anniversary of the city of Esztergom, he organized the first international guitar festival. This festival of the world's guitarists was held every two years, and since its establishment, it has become world famous and is still held today. As a signal that he was highly honored, he received his second Liszt Prize in 1973.

In 1977, he had his own 18-part television show called Westrum on Six Strings. His years passed with concerts, teaching, radio and record recordings, along with the organizing of the festival. In 1985, he received the Pro Arte Prize from the capital of Budapest, and in 1988 after a serious heart attack, he received as the first European guitarist the Villa-Lobos Prize from the ambassador of Brazil. Disregarding all warnings, he worked on energetically. He had already started the organizing of the tenth festival, but did not live to see the anniversary. On February 12, 1991 in his 59th year, his second heart attack proved stronger than him.