Haack [Haacke, Haak, Haake], Friedrich Wilhelm

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Hubay [Huber], Jenő [Eugen]

(b Budapest, 15 Sept 1858; d Budapest, 12 March 1937). Hungarian violinist and composer. He studied the violin with his father, Károly Huber, who was violin professor at the Budapest Conservatory and leader-conductor at the Hungarian National Theatre. Hubay made a highly successful début in June 1872, when, under the direction of his father, he performed Viotti’s A minor Violin Concerto. From autumn 1873 he spent the next three years in Germany, studying the violin with Joachim (at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik) and composition with Benno Härtel. After his return to Budapest, Volkmann and Liszt played important roles in his development. He gave recitals with Liszt in Budapest on several occasions, and in 1878, on Liszt’s advice, he travelled to Paris, where he soon became a favoured guest at musical salons. Subsequently he gave highly successful concerts in France, England and Belgium with Aggházy, a pupil of Liszt’s. By 1879 he had adopted the more Hungarian-sounding name, Hubay.

In Paris he developed a close friendship with Henry Vieuxtemps, who saw the Hungarian youth as his artistic heir and successor. Before his death in Algeria in 1881, Vieuxtemps made Hubay his executor and entrusted him with the orchestration of his Seventh Violin Concerto. He also recommended Hubay as head of violin studies at the Brussels Conservatory, a post he took up in February 1882. In 1886 he returned to Hungary and accepted a similar position at the Budapest Academy of Music (concurrently he also taught at the Budapest Conservatory for about 15 years). Thanks to Hubay and his pupils – among them Arányi, Gertler, Geyer, Ormandy, Zoltan Székely, Szigeti and Telmányi – the Academy was for decades considered one of the foremost centres in Europe for the study of violin playing.

From the 1880s onwards, and for the next 25 years, Hubay went on European concert tours virtually every year. Among the pianists he worked with were Eugen d’Albert, Backhaus and Dohnányi. In 1886, with David Popper, he formed the Hubay Quartet, which for decades played a significant role in Hungary’s musical culture; they gave first performances in Hungary of works by Brahms, including several world premières in which the composer himself participated. Following the communist take over in the spring of 1919, Hubay fled to Switzerland with his family; in September, after the collapse of the Soviet regime in Hungary, he was invited home by the new government and entrusted with the directorship of the Budapest Academy. He held this post until 1934, remaining as head of violin studies until 1936.

In the latter half of his career he became a prominent figure in Hungarian musical life. Having already been received into the ranks of the aristocracy through marriage to Countess Róza Cebrian, he was himself given a title in 1907. (His palace on the banks of the Danube was for decades one of the cultural centres of the Hungarian capital.) In 1913 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca).

Hubay’s legacy includes a compositional output of considerable breadth. A significant proportion of his approximately 200 violin pieces and the majority of his songs date from 1880 to 1900. In the second half of his life he turned his attention increasingly towards large-scale genres. Liszt, Vieuxtemps and Massenet were decisive influences on the formation of his musical style, while his acquaintance with the music of Debussy and Richard Strauss contributed more modern elements to his compositional technique. Hubay adhered constantly, however, to the framework of triadic harmony and traditional tonality. His works betray also a sense of patriotism: the fantasias make use of Hungarian popular themes (sometimes from folksongs) and possess an improvisational quality, while the (Hungarian) art songs continue the tradition of popular song; in addition, the operas A falu rossza (‘The Village Vagabond’) and Lavotta szerelme (‘Lavotta’s Love’) quote the world of popular theatre. However, the majority of his works are tied firmly to the west European Romantic tradition. A cremonai hegedűs (‘The Violin Maker of Cremona’) was produced at some 70 opera houses around the world, and was the first Hungarian opera to be staged outside Europe (New York, 1897).

In the first few decades after Hubay’s death, only a few of his pieces remained in the repertory at large: the Sonate romantique and Zephir from Blumenleben op.30. In the 1990s, however, there was a revival of interest in Hubay’s work, with the foundation (1999) of a Hubay society and several new recordings and publications of his music.


(selective list)


all first performed at the Royal Hungarian Opera House, Budapest

Aliénor (4, E. Haraucourt, trans. L. Dóczy, A. Váradi), op.28, c1886–1890, 5 Dec 1891

A cremonai hegedűs (Le luthier de Crémone) (2, F. Coppée and H. Beauclaire, trans. M. Kalbeck, E. Ábrányi), op.40, 1892, 10 Nov 1894

A falu rossza (Der Dorflump) (3, Váradi, E. Tóth), op.50, 1894–5, 20 March 1896

Moharózsa (Moosröschen) (4, M. Rothauser, after Ouida), op.85, 1897–8, 21 Feb 1903

Lavotta szerelme [Lavotta’s Love] (3, epilogue, Á. Berczik and I. Farkas), op.96, 1904, 17 Nov 1906

Az álarc (Die Maske) (3, R. Lothar and S. Góth, after F. Martos), op.106, 1909–10, rev. 1924–30, 26 Feb 1931

A milói Vénusz (Die Venus von Milo) (prologue, 1, Góth and Farkas, after L. d’Assas and P. Lindau), op.107, 1908–9, rev. 1926 and 1932, 1 March 1935

Anna Karenina (3, Góth and A. Gábor, after L. Tolstoy), op.112, 1914, 10 Nov 1923


Orch: Va Conc. (Morceau de concert), C, op.20, 1884–8, 1st movt arr. vc, orch; Vn Conc. no.1 (Conc. dramatique), a, op.21, 1884; Sym. no.1, B, op.26, 1885, rev. 1923; Vn Conc. no.2, E, op.90, c1900; Biedermeyer Suite, op.116, c1907–15; Sinfonie 1914 (Sym. no.2 ‘War Sym.’), op.93, 1914, rev. c1922; Vn Conc. no.3, g, op.99, 1906–7; Vn Conc. no.4 (Conc. all’antica), a, op.101, 1907

Chbr (all for vn, pf unless otherwise stated): Chant de plevna, op.1, 1878, orchd; Suite sur ‘Le roi de Lahore’ de Massenet, op.3 no.1, 1880, orchd; Carmen, fantasie brillante, op.3 no.3, 1877, orchd; Fantaisie tziganesque, op.4, 1879; Suite, op.5, 1877–8, rev. 1882, orchd; Pusztaklänge (Echos de la Puszta), op.7, 1880; Scènes de la Csárda no.1, op.9, 1879, rev. 1882, orchd; 3 morceaux, op.10, 1876–80; Kis furulyám … [My Little Pipe] (Scènes de la Csárda no.2), op.13, c1880–81, orchd; Maggiolata, op.15 no.2, va/vc, pf, c1882, orchd; Sonate romantique, op.22, 1884; Romance, op.25, c1882–6, orchd; 6 poèmes hongrois, op.27, 1885; Blumenleben (La vie d’une fleur), op.30, 1887/89

Hejre Kati [Hey, Katie] (Scènes de la Csárda no.4), op.32, c1882–6, orchd; Hullámzó Balaton [Choppy Balaton] (Scènes de la Csárda no.5), op.33, c1887, orchd; Sárga cserebogár [Yellow May Bug] (Scènes de la Csárda no.6), op.34, c1887, orchd; Impressions de la Puszta, op.44, 1893; Ataïr, roman musical en 5 chapitres, op.47, 1893; 3 morceaux, op.48, 1894; Mosaïque, 10 morceaux, op.49, 1894; 5 morceaux caractéristiques, op.51, 1893; 3 morceaux, op.52, 1894; 2 mazurkas de concert, op.54, 1895; 3 poèmes d’après François Coppée, op.56, 1895; 3 morceaux, op.58, 1895; Fantasie élégiaque, op.62, 1896, orchd; Szalatnai emlék [Souvenir of Szalatna] (Scènes de la Csárda no.10), op.69, c1897–8, orchd; Variations sur une thème hongrois, op.72, 1897, orchd

6 nouveaux poèmes hongrois, op.76, c1899; 6 pièces caractéristiques, op.79, c1899; Arlequin, scherzo, op.81, c1899; Szomorúfűz hervadt lombja [The Weeping Willow’s Faded Foliage] (Scènes de la Csárda no.11), op.82, c1900, orchd; Pici tubiczam [My Little Pigeon] (Scènes de la Csárda no.12), op.83, c1898, orchd; Scènes d’enfants (Kinderszenen), 10 pieces, op.84, 1898; Perpetuum moblie, op.88, 1899, orchd; Scènes de la Csárda no.13, op.102, 1908, orchd; Walzer-paraphrase, op.105, 1911, orchd; Fliederbusch, op.109, c1915; 2 morceaux, op.110, c1919; Adieu, op.111, c1920; 5 Konzertetüden, op.115; Scènes de la Csárda no.14, op.117, c1920; Frühlings-Liebeslieder (Chanson d’amour printanier), op.120, 1923; 6 Stücke, op.121, 1925


Choral: Ara pacis (Friedens Sym.) (R. Rolland), op.114, solo vv, chorus, children’s chorus, orch, c1916–1937; Dante Sym. (Vita nuova), op.118, 4vv, chorus, children’s chorus, orch, 1921; Petőfi Sym., op.119, 4vv, chorus, male chorus, children’s chorus, orch, 1922; other choruses

Songs: over 100, incl. 18 magyar dal [18 Hung. Songs] (S. Petőfi), op.2, 1877–8; 5 Lieder (F. Werner and others), op.8, c1876; 3 mélodies (V. Hugo), op.12, c1882; 5 mélodies (L. Paté, Sully Prudhomme), op.17, c1882; 5 Gedichte von Carmen Sylva, op.29, 1888; 5 Petőfi Lieder im ungarischen Styl, op.31, c1889; 5 Gesänge (E. Im Hof and others), op.53, 1894; 3 mélodies (F. Coppée, Hugo), op.71, c1898; 3 magyar dal (M. Szabolcska), op.77; Simon Judit (melodrama, J. Kiss), op.91, c1884; 7 dal [7 Songs] (I. Farkas, Szikra, S. Sajó, J. Kerner), op.100, c1906, nos.4–7 orchd; 2 Petőfi-dal, op.103, 1v, pf, orch; 6 neue Lieder (E. Halbert and others), op.122–3, 1v, pf, c1920–22

Principal publishers: Bosworth, Breitkopf & Härtel, Hainauer, Hamelle, Harmonia, Universal


E. Haraszti: Hubay Jenő élete és munkái [The life and works of Hubay] (Budapest, 1913)

M. Zipernovszky, ed.: Hubay Jenő hegedűtanítási módszere: a mai magyar hegedűoktatás alapelvei [Hubay’s violin-teaching techniques: the principles of violin instruction in Hungary today] (Budapest, 1942)

F. Halmy and M. Zipernovszky: Hubay Jenő (Budapest, 1976)

I. Homolya: ‘Nagy magyar hegedűsök a Főiskola élén: Hubay Jenő és Zathureczky Ede’ [Great Hungarian violinists at the edge of the academy: Hubay and Zathureczky], A Liszt Ferenc zeneművészeti Főiskola 100 éve, ed. J. Ujfalussy (Budapest, 1977), 199–208

A. Hubay Cebrian: Apám, Hubay Jenő: Egy nagy művész életregénye [My father, Hubay: a biography of a great artist] (Budapest, 1992)

L. Gombos: ‘Verzeichnis der Werke von Jenő Hubay anhand von gedruckten und handschriftlichen Quellen in Ungarn’, SMH, xxxviii (1997), 1–2, 65–134

L. Gombos: ‘Jenő Hubay’, Hungarian Composers, vol.1, ed. M. Berlász (Budapest, 1998)


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