A Tribute to Frigyes Hidas
from the June 10, 2007 concert program notes
by Duane Carroll
by Duane Carroll
Tonight’s program is not what I had originally planned. I had aimed for a broader representation of Eastern European composers of wind music. After the untimely passing of Mr. Hidas in Budapest on March 7, shortly after he completed the “Hungarian Rhapsody” for us, this concert evolved into a musical tribute and celebration of his life.
Hidas was born in Budapest in 1928. He studied composition at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, became the musical director of the National Theater, and held the same role at the city’s Operetta Theater.
Thereafter, Hidas became a freelance composer. His works covered operas, ballets, concertos, orchestral works, chamber music, and vocal and choral music. He was one of the foremost names in the world of contemporary symphonic band music. In 1986 he was named "Merited Artist of the Hungarian People's Republic."
Ben Cruiming, Hidas’ publisher in the Netherlands, introduced me to the music of Hidas. In 2001 I described the kind of musical sound and instrumentation I was looking for in a composition for wind symphony, and he handed me a copy of Hidas’ symphony Save the Sea. I was very impressed, and we have had the pleasure of playing his music ever since. Performances of some of the selections have been West Coast premieres, a U. S premiere, and tonight we have a world premiere.
Hidas has been described as a “modest friend with a warm personality, a composer with a great feeling for romantic tradition who gave us a lot of quality compositions. He was warm, vivacious, witty, and very entertaining. All who knew him loved him.” You can hear the “warm” in “Song of the Waves” and the “witty and very entertaining” in “Sprightly Tunes.”
Tonight I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about one of the band world’s great composers.
– Duane Carroll