Géza Frid was born on 25 January 1904 in Maramarossziget, a small town that was then in Hungary and now belongs to Romania. In musical terms he was a child prodigy, giving his first public concert when he was only six years old. At the age of 12 he was accepted into the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. There he studied piano under Béla Bartók and composition under Zoltan Kodály; both of these profoundly influenced his own work. In 1924 he graduated in both subjects and shortly afterwards he left his home country because of rising fascism. He went on concert tours throughout Europe and finally settled in Amsterdam in 1929. There in 1937 he married the singer and pianist Ella van Hall.
Frid’s earliest works were published in 1927: a string trio and quartet, published by Donemus. He quickly made an international name for himself as a composer and his works were acclaimed in Europe and in the USA. During the Second World War, Frid remained a stateless Jew; he was consequently forbidden to appear in public. He organised secret house concerts and joined the artists’ dissident group in Amsterdam. He wrote little music during this period. After the war, in 1948, he became a Dutch citizen.
Frid’s career took off after the war. He went all over the world as a concert pianist and accompanist. His own compositions, often to commission, won him prizes both at home and abroad. For many years he was one of the most performed composers in the Netherlands and a key figure in Dutch musical life. He sat on numerous committees. From 1964-1970 he taught chamber music at the Utrecht Conservatory.
Frid was a music correspondent and editor, in particular for the paper 'Het Vrije Volk'. His autobiography Eighty Years Around the World was published in 1984. Frid’s musical oeuvre contains some hundred works and may be described as moderately modern. His music is inspired by the folk music of his home country, Hungary.
In 1988 Géza Frid moved to Bergen in North Holland. He died on 13 September 1989 in the Burns Unit in Beverwijk, following an incident in the care home where he lived when attendants negligently left him in a bath of scalding hot water. Géza Frid is buried in the Zorgvlied cemetery in Amsterdam.
Since 1998 the Géza Frid Foundation has devoted itself to the cause of bringing Géza Frid’s works to the attention of the public and of ensuring that he has a permanent place in the Dutch and international music world. You can hear fragments of Geza Frid’s music on this website and on YouTube.
Eighty Years Around the World. Géza Frid, 1984, Strengholt Naarden.
Trio op. 27 1947 for piano, violin and cello
Concert voor twee violen en orkest, op. 40 1952 for two violins and orchestra
Arabesques Roumaines 1974 female choire a cappella
Paradou 1948 for orchestra
Concerto voor piano en koor 1934 for piano and mixed choir
Twaalf muzikale karikaturen 1930 piano
Concert voor twee piano's en orkest 1957 for two pianos and orchestra
Symfonietta 1963 for string orchestra
Strijktrio 1926 for violin, viola and cello
Suite 1929 for orchestra
Find out more about Géza Frid, find sheet music and listen to sound samples on www.forbiddenmusicregained.org
On www.gezafrid.com you will find an extensive biography, a complete list of works, audio samples and excerpts from Géza Frid's books. Click on the button 'His music' to find information on where to buy his CDs.