Dohnányi, Ernst von

Dohnányi, Ernst von ĕrˈnö [key], 1877–1960, Hungarian composer, pianist, and conductor. He studied at the Royal Academy, Budapest (1894–97), and later became its director. As a pianist he toured successfully throughout Europe and the United States until 1908, when he became professor of piano at the Berlin Hochschule. He was permanent conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra from 1919 to 1944 and became musical director of the Hungarian State Radio in 1931. After World War II, he left Hungary, settling (1949) in the United States, where he taught at Florida State Univ. until his death. He is best remembered for the suite Ruralia Hungarica (1924) for piano or orchestra, Variations on a Nursery Song (1913) for piano and orchestra, and American Rhapsody (1954) for orchestra. His grandson, Christoph von Dohnányi, 1929–, is a distinguished German conductor who led orchestras in Europe before becoming conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra (1984–2002). He also led the Philharmonia of London (1997–2008) and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra (2004–11).

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