László Lajtha

1892 - 1963

Hungarian

Biography

Laszlo Lajtha was born in 1892 in Budapest, Hungary. After studying composition and the piano at the Budapest Academy, he started to travel abroad, notably to Paris, where from 1910 to 1914 he benefited from Vincent d’Indy’s support, and where he steeped himself in the exceptional atmosphere of the French capital at that time. He had an abiding passion for folklore, being in this respect a follower of Béla Bartók, and the publication of his first works placed him at once among the leading lights of the European avant-garde. Appointed professor of composition and of chamber music at the Budapest Conservatory in 1919, Lajtha was also called to numerous official positions in connection with his research into folklore. During the interwar period, he became ever more attached to France, befriending Ravel and Roussel in particular. On his return to Hungary after World War Two, this composer with a highly refined conception of his art, who proclaimed he was "in search of lost beauty”, died in Budapest in 1963. Leduc has been his main publisher since 1948.