Message In A Bottle

Lajos Szamosi had an investigative mind, one that wanted to understand the whys and wherefores of things. Like all people who think in universal terms, he sought connections between his field and those sciences that attempt to understand and explain human behavior. The theories and discoveries of physics, physiology, and sociology were all a part of his inspiration. On occasion he used these theories to give rational support to his astonishing instincts. Freud, Pavlov, Marx and others colored his thinking in an age when the majority of vocal pedagogy was based on a sterile tradition that had long since degenerated into mere prescription and superstition.

After the war, he started a new life in Bucharest, which I was witness to, then on to Italy, whence he returned to Budapest. There, he continued to fight his solitary battles: the enemy was the same, it had merely adopted a different mask. Finally, in 1957, he started on his last "new life" in Vienna, at an age when others are thinking of hanging up their instruments.

It was in Vienna that his fame began to spread. By that time his students were coming to him from three continents. If that had happened to the young Lajos Szamosi, I would not have to remember him today as that long misunderstood, or not understood, Master. His work, his thinking, would have carved new paths in vocal pedagogy, and beyond its boundaries to the teaching of instrumental music as well. By a quirk of fate I was lucky enough to be one of the few who managed to drink from his fountain in time.
Let us not consider his approach a "method", because teaching is not theory, but process and action, which, if put down on paper, tends to harden and grow cold. Let us try, instead, to utilize it as if we were historians attempting to piece together the fragments of a vanished life.

George Sebök
Distinguished Professor of Piano
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington, Indiana
January 8, 1989