The Kennedy Center

Miklós Rózsa


Miklós Rózsa was born in Budapest, Hungary on 18 April 1907. He began to study the violin at the age of five, and later he branched out to the viola and piano. At eight years old, he was performing in public and began composing.

In high school, Mr. Rosza was elected president of the Franz Liszt Society and organized matinees of "modern music," much to the horror and dismay of the school authorities.

He initially moved to Germany where his talent was recognized and fostered. When he later moved to Paris, he tried earn his way composing music, but found that he had to write popular music to earn money. However, Mr. Rosza's style and ability to reflect drama and emotions began to attract film directors' attentions.

After relocating to London, Mr. Rosza studied choral conducting. There he met director-producer Alexander Korda, who influenced him to write more formally for the movies, and to relocate to America, where he could follow his two interests – composing for both films and the concert hall.

The Four Feathers was Miklos Rózsa's first big international success, while his best early film score was The Thief of Bagdad. He received Academy Awards for his score for Hitchcock's Spellbound in 1945, in 1947 for A Double Life, and for a third time in 1959 for Ben-Hur . In the same period, he wrote his Violin Concerto for Jascha Heifitz, who premiered it in 1956.

After years of illness, Miklós Rózsa died on July 27, 1995.
Miklós Rózsa