Alumni Notes


Denes Koromzay

Denes Koromzay was born in Hungary in 1913 and received his training at the Franz List Academy of Music, culminating with the Artist Diploma. He was employed at Oberlin for the 1972-73 year as visiting professor of chamber music and subsequently appointed professor of chamber and viola the following year. He retired from Oberlin on December 31, 1979. Denes later served part time at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and passed away in the fall of 2001.

Former colleague Andor Toth notes, "Denes Koromzay was an early coach for many of the worlds' better quartets: the Lindsey Quartet, the Takacs Quartet, and the Colorado Quartet. He also taught members of the Vermeer Quartet (2), the Pendereki Quartet (2), and the Lydian and Chester Quartet. He taught many other individuals who later had lives in major chamber music organizations. On a personal note, he loved fine food and wines and was a world-class bridge player."

Denes was a founding member of the Hungarian Quartet in 1937, which concertized extensively until 1972. Trapped for five years in Holland during the Second World War, the quartet occupied itself by perfecting the Beethoven Cycle. Later, they brought performances and recordings of the classical canon to music lovers worldwide, twice recording the Beethoven Quartet Cycle in Paris.

As a member of the Hungarian Quartet (and, after their retirement, the New Hungarian Quartet), Denes performed in every major concert venue in the world, playing 100 to 150 concerts a year for almost 45 years. It is clear from his biography that Mr. Koromzay exemplified the ideals of intellectual and artistic excellence that characterize Oberlin College Conservatory, and he will be missed.

Peter Slowik is a professor of viola. This Memorial Minute was adopted by a rising vote of the General Faculty of Oberlin College on April 16, 2002.

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