Jenő Kenessey

Composer, conductor

Jenő Kenessey studied organ at the National Conservatory in Budapest, as well as music composition under the guidance of László Lajtha. At the Liszt Academy, he studied music composition with Albert Siklós. He also pursued a legal education alongside his music studies. A scholarship took him to Italy, Germany and Austria, where he attended Franz Schalk's Salzburg conducting course. He worked at the Opera House as a répétiteur from 1929 and made his debut as a conductor in 1932 in Glazunov's ballet The Seasons. Appointed a conductor in 1937, he primarily focused on the ballet repertoire in the early part of his career and served as the ballet ensemble's principal conductor from 1945 until his retirement in 1965. He was a permanent guest conductor of Budapest's Metropolitan Orchestra and the conductor of the Vasas Art Ensemble Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, he wrote operas and ballets, along with symphonic and chamber music. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1953, after being named an Artist of Merit in 1952.