György Sebők Scholarship in Piano
György Sebők, a great pianist and pedagogue, was born on November 3, 1922. In his early years in Szeged, Hungary, he showed enormous interest in the world around him. He was an avid reader who absorbed poetry, physiology, psychology, history, philosophy and other subjects as well. These formative years with his family gave way to intense music study at the Liszt Academy in Budapest beginning in 1938. Sebők came from the tradition of Bartók, Kodály, Dohnányi, and Leo Weiner. He said Weiner was his greatest and closest teacher.
It was at the beginning of World War II when he entered his time at the Academy. He was personally devastated by the war; he entered a time of extreme self-examination and emerged a different pianist and musician. In 1949 he became Professor of Piano at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest, but during the uprisings of 1956, he made his way to Paris. In 1957 he won the Grand Prix du Disque and began a performance career that developed over the years into regular solo and chamber music appearances in most western European countries, Japan, South Africa, and North America.
From 1962 to 1999, Sebők was a member of the piano faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he held the title of Distinguished Professor, the highest rank granted to any professor at the university. He held guest professorships at the Hochschule der Kenste in Berlin, The Toho-Gakuen School of Music in Japan, and the School of the Arts in Banff, Canada. He was the founder and director of his beloved "Ernen Musikdorf" and the Festival der Zukunft in Switzerland. He also gave regular master classes in France, Barcelona, Amsterdam, The Hague, Oregon, and Hungary.
The Sebők Scholarship is awarded annually to a student studying piano.