Sandor Vandor (b. Miskolc, 1901 - d. Sopronbanfalva, 1945)
Walter Gray, cello; Mina Miller, piano
Recorded May 19, 2019 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle
In the decades following World War II, Hungarian conductor and composer Sandor Vandor was remembered mainly for the Budapest choir named in his honor. Yet Vandor was an influential voice in Hungarian music who promoted the work of Bartok and Kodaly. While best know for his choral music, Vandor composed at least forty works that include orchestra, chamber and stage pieces. The son of a physician, Vandor rubbed elbows with Hungary's literary elite as a child and went on to become fluent in seven languages. He was expelled from the Hungarian school system in 1920 after organizing a revolutionary student council. After musical studies in Leipzig, Vandor lived in Italy, where he worked as a vocal coach and conductor. Returning to Budapest, he led the choir that now bears his name from 1936 until late 1944, when he was sent by Hungarian Nazis to his death at the forced labor camp at Sopronbanfalva, near the Austrian border. Only one of Vandor's compositions - a piano work - was published during his lifetime, but many others have appeared posthumously.