Garami, Arthur

Arthur Garami. Violinist, teacher, b Derecske, Hungary, 20 Nov 1921, naturalized Canadian 1955, d north of Montreal, 12 Jan 1979; performance diploma (Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest) 1942. In Budapest he studied violin 1935-42 with Géza de Kresz, chamber music 1937-42 with Imre Waldbauer and Leo Weiner, and Hungarian folk music 1940-1 with Zoltán Kodály. In 1940 he won second prize at the Hubay National Competition. He taught at the National Cons of Hungary and was assistant concertmaster of the Hungarian radio orchestra 1945-6. Garami lived in Paris 1946-9, frequently played in recital or as soloist on French radio, and gave the Paris premiere of William Walton's Violin Concerto. He was a prize winner in the 1946 Jacques-Thibaud Competition and the 1947 Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers and appeared in concert in London and on the BBC.

Moving to Canada at the invitation of the Hamilton Conservatory of Music, (RHCM) Garami directed the conservatory's string department 1949-54. He broadcast frequently for the CBC on radio and on TV, and made his Canadian concert debut 7 Mar 1951 with the TSO in Hamilton in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. He appeared with the major Canadian orchestras and made numerous tours 1951-4 in the USA.

Garami moved in 1954 to Montreal where he was a soloist and member 1954-65 of the CBC 'Little Symphonies' Orchestra, concertmaster 1956-9 of the McGill Chamber Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster 1960-5 of the MSO. He taught 1955-64 at McGill University, 1958-64 at the École Vincent-d'Indy, and 1962-79 at the CMM.

A Canada Council fellowship enabled Garami to write the treatise 'The spontaneous performance in the art of violin playing' (unpublished). In May 1964, with his regular accompanist Charles Reiner, he presented Beethoven's 10 sonatas for violin and piano at Carnegie Recital Hall. After a recital at the Salle Claude-Champagne, Jean Vallerand hailed Garami one of the 'best Canadian violinists' (Montreal La Presse, 24 Nov 1965). Garami was a founding member, and first violin 1968-76, of the Classical Quartet of Montreal.

In Paris in 1947 Garami made several 78s for the Pacific label, playing Bartok's Rumanian Dances, Dinicu-Heifetz' Hora staccato, Dohnanyi's Ruralia Hungarica, and several other virtuoso pieces. With Reiner he recorded sonatas by Henry Barraud and Udo Kasemets (ca 1955, RCI 137). His recording of George Fiala'sDuo Sonata with Dorothy Weldon was issued (1987) on 5-ACM 27. Garami owned a Guarnerius made in Mantua in 1714. His collection of scores and books is held at the CMM.