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Balint Vazsonyi Collection

 Collection 0011-IPAM

Balint Vazsonyi (March 7, 1936-January 17, 2003) was a Hungarian-American pianist, perhaps best known for his live performances of the complete cycle of the thirty-two Piano Sonatas by Beethoven. Vazsonyi also was an author who wrote extensively on political science in the Washington Times and other media sources. The collection consists of concert programs, reviews, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, recordings, lectures, scrapbooks, brochures, manuscripts, books, and videos related to Vazsonyi’s performing and teaching careers, the ensembles he was involved in, events in his life, his political involvement, and his relationships with several people and organizations, especially his teacher, Ernst von Dohnanyi, and his management, Kazuko Hillyer International, Inc.


  • 1853-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1960-2000

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.


24.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Balint Vazsonyi Collection covers the period from 1949-2003; the bulk of the materials date from 1960-2000. The collection consists of concert programs and reviews, reel-to-reel and commercially issued recordings, flyers, scrapbooks, and biographical information and articles concerning Vazsonyi. It also contains articles, lectures, teaching activities, books, papers, and films written by Vazsonyi about music and politics, as well as information about Vazsonyi’s involvement in politics. Finally, this collection contains correspondences between Vazsonyi and many different organizations and people. This collection represents Vazsonyi’s recordings and lectures by composers such as Brahms and Liszt and articles he wrote about his former teacher, Dohnanyi. The materials reflect Vazsonyi’s performances and teaching activities with the Boston Conservatory, the New School of the Arts, and Indiana University, as well as his performances at the Hungarian Embassy (Washington, DC) and in places throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa. It also reflects Vazsonyi’s political involvement with the Center for the American Founding/Potomac Foundation and his extensive writings on politics in the U.S. Finally, it represents his correspondence with various arts organizations such as the Kent Music Center, the University of Miami School of Music, the Guilford Festival, and his manager, the Kazuko Hillyer International, Inc.


Summary: Balint Vazsonyi was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 7, 1936. Vaszonyi toured the U.S. and Europe, performed all 32 Beethoven sonatas, and wrote extensively on political science for The Washington Times. He died in January 2003.

Full History: Balint Vazsonyi was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 7, 1936. He began his piano studies early at the Liszt Music Academy and the Vienna Academy of Music. Later, he immigrated to the U.S. and continued his studies under Ernst von Dohnanyi at Florida State University. Vazsonyi toured the U.S. and Europe, as well as making numerous television and radio appearances. He also performed several cycles of all 32 Beethoven's sonatas. His recordings were issued on the Vox, Pye, and Genesis labels. Vazsonyi was also deeply interested in political science and wrote extensively on that subject for The Washington Times and elsewhere. He died in January 2003.

A separate, highly significant portion of the Vazsonyi Collection consists of materials that he gathered relating to the life and career of his teacher, Dohnanyi. Many of these unique documents, the majority in Hungarian, were used by Vazsonyi while preparing his biography of Dohnanyi. At the request of donor Barbara Vazsonyi, a portion of the Dohnanyi materials in Hungarian were transferred to the library of the Liszt academy in Budapest in 2004. This book was published by Zenemukiado in 1971.


This collection is organized into six series.

  1. Series 1: Performance Files
  2. Series 2: Subject Files
  3. Series 3: Academic/Literary
  4. Series 4: Political
  5. Series 5: Correspondence
  6. Series 6: Dohnanyi Materials

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Materials were received in May 2003. Donation was made by Barbara Vazsonyi, Vazsonyi’s wife and widow.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.


Florida West Coast Symphony (1962). Balint Vazsonyi piano recital. Unpublished Oversized Poster Flyer.
Balint Vazsonyi Collection
This collection was processed by Max Brown and Elizabeth Mason.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Materials were received in May 2003. Donation was made by Barbara Vazsonyi, Vazsonyi’s wife and widow.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States