22 June 2021

György Pauk's new book to help young musicians test

By Lark Music
A Life in Music: Proceeds from violinist Gyo?rgy Pauk’s new book will go to young musicians’ charities

Knowing first-hand the traumatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the classical music community has led Gyo?rgy Pauk, one of the leading violinists of his generation, to distribute all proceeds from his new book to charities supporting young classical musicians.

Gyo?rgy retired from the concert stage in 2007 and is Principal Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London and he told Lark Music: “Students now preparing to go out into the world are anxiously wondering what the future holds. I hope my book can offer a little more help for them.”

The book was first printed in Gyo?rgy’s native Hungary in 2016 and featured in LARKmusic magazine. The revised book, ‘A Life In Music, Memories of 80 Years with the Violin’ is a fuller record of Gyo?rgy’s life and extraordinary career.


It was Gyo?rgy’s wife Susie who encouraged him to publish an English version and Gyo?rgy says that is typical of her support. He said: “Throughout my life Susie has always helped me in my career. We met through friends in Amsterdam – we had both, separately, left our homes in Budapest after the Revolution in 1956. We fell in love and married a year later.”

Gyo?rgy, who plays the Massart Stradivarius of 1714, which is insured by Lark Music, said: “In 1959, when I needed a good violin to take part in the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris, Susie went into a famous violin shop and asked for their help.

“The owner, Mr Muller, said he had a J B Guadagnini violin of 1740 in his safe, which was not in use, and he lent it to me.  As it happened, I went on to win the Premier Grand Prix playing a Brahms violin concerto in the final. I was 22, Susie was 19.

“I knew Yehudi Menuhin from my student days in Budapest and he had heard me play.  Every time he came to visit Amsterdam we met and he suggested that Susie and I should move to London, the music capital of Europe.

“As we were refugees in Holland I needed a letter of recommendation to the Home Office to be able to stay in the country. He wrote that letter!

“Susie and I cherish the vivid memory of the day we received our UK citizenship in 1967. Being here enabled me to meet many important conductors and managers who helped me to start a successful solo career.


“I have sad memories of life in Hungary and lately, particularly during this period of lockdown, I have been thinking of what happened to my parents whom I lost in the Holocaust. I was brought up by my maternal grandmother and the nearest person I had as a father figure was my violin teacher Ede Zathureczky. I have named my Professorship at the RAM after him.

“Music has played an essential role in my coping and healing process, allowing me to deal with traumas of my childhood. It came to my rescue, helping me to find a new home and sense of belonging. It also played its part in bringing me together with Susie. Without music, I certainly could not have had the happy and fulfilling life that I have been privileged to enjoy.”

Gyo?rgy Pauk has two children, Tomi and Kati, plus four grandchildren, Gabriella, Joshua, Sasha and Alina to whom he has dedicated his book ‘A Life In Music, Memories of 80 Years with the Violin’, which is now available through GP Publications, price £15.

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