Ferenc Szecsődi was born in 1954 in Budapest. His teacher at thee Béla Bartók Secondary School was István Bodonyi, at the Music Academy Mihály Szűcs. At the same time with his graduation he won the Grand Prize of the Academy of Music. He began to teach in 1977 at the Liszt Ferenc College of Music in Szeged, and since then many of his students have given concerts or taught throughout the country and abroad. In 2000 he gained the title of habilitated university professor. His international solo career began in 1984 when he became a Grand Prize winner of the Cziffra Foundation. Since then, he has performed in many major European cities from Paris to Vienna, from Bologna to Madrid, from Prague to Zurich or Kiev, but has also given concerts in the USA and Japan. Several composers, such as Zsolt Durkó, Pál Rózsa, Miklós Kocsár or Lajos Huszár, recommended his works for him. He was voted Best Performer of the Year in 1992 and received the Liszt Prize as a state award the following year. For his pedagogical work, he was awarded the Weiner Prize in 1996. He has been the president of the Hubay Jenő Society since 2005. In 2009, he was awarded the Meritorious Artist of the Republic of Hungary. He has been a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2012. In 2020, he was awarded the title of Outstanding Artist of the Republic of Hungary.
The classical line of Hungarian violin literature is significant among his CD releases. His cd, ’The Great Hungarian Violin School’ was well received by both the audience and the critics. Critics highlighted: “his brilliant technique and flooding musicality” (New Hungary) or “the temperamental playing of the Hungarian Paganini” (Zürichsee Zeitung). His series of 13 CD-s, „The complete violin-piano works of Jenő Hubay” was highly ranked both by the Hungarian and the foreign press. This series is a world record of its kind, as no one has ever made so many records from a composer. The music magazine Gramophon rated his recordings with 5 stars, the highest rate.
His lecture, “The Secret of the World-Famous Hubay Violin School” was performed in many Hungarian cities and also abroad, including an international music conference in Bern (Switzerland) in 2008.
His unique series of concerts, “Master Instruments in a Master’s Hand”, which introduces new Hungarian master violins to the general public has been going on for a decade now.
His program series, the “Celebration of Hungarian Violin” has been going on for many years. There, in addition to the art of violin-making, literature, fine arts and gastronomy also play an important role in promoting the instrument.
In 2015, he was awarded the Klebersberg Kuno Prize. In 2017, he was elected to be the president of the Hungarian Musicians’ Association.
In addition to his musician career, he is a successful teacher. His first and only workplace the Béla Bartók Faculty of Arts of the University of Szeged, where he started his 43rd academic year in 2019. In addition to supporting young talents, the old masters are not forgotten either; on the occasion of famous anniversaries, former students, colleagues and friends are celebrating their master teachers.
His most famous students:
Máté Gábor Szűcs – solo viola player of the Berliner Philharmoniker, professor at the Academy of Music in Geneva
Katalin Várnagy – Deputy Concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Tamás Fejes – concertmaster of the Scottish National Orchestra
Edina Mókus Szirtes – ARTISJUS awarded performer, composer
Sebestyén Stathatosz – student of the Music School in Manhattan
Mária Pécsiné Pánczél – 2nd Prize Winner of the National Competition of music School Violin Teachers’, Head of the Péter Király Kőnig Music School in Szeged
Ervin Dudás Virág – winner of the 2019 Wieniawski Violin Competition
Ferenc Szecsődi is playing on a Hungarian master violin, made by Márton Székely in 2006.