Opera singer, general director, Eternal Member
Endre Ütő was born in Budapest in 1937. After earning his degree, under Andor Lenvai, in the voice department of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music between 1957 and 1964, he went on to continue his music studies at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Under the guidance of Giorgio Favaretto, he won two singing competitions (one in Munich, the other in Reggio Emilia) and also got the chance to sing together with Luciano Pavarotti, who was then at the start of his career. From 1963 to 1996, he sang bass as a soloist with the Hungarian State Opera, and also served as the institution's general director between 1991 and 1996. As a soloist, he had the opportunity to sing many of the bass roles from the opera repertoire (his more than 50 roles included Méphistophélès, Prince Gremin, Ramfis, Bluebeard, Timur, Sparafucile and Colline). Under his stewardship, the Opera revived the Ring cycle, Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle and ballets, with set designs by Imre Makovecz. Also during his tenure, the Society of Young Friends of the Opera was established within the institution, and the Opera's entire ensemble of singers collectively received the Bartók Award. He was also involved with the establishment of the Opera Studio, which prepares young artists for performing on stage. At his and László Külkey's initiative, the Budapest Society of Friends of the Opera was re-established in 1991. In addition, he was a founder of both the Budapest Society of Friends of the Opera Foundation, which organised concerts featuring artists from the United States, Germany, Italy and France, and the Pro Opera Lirica Foundation, which rewarded young artists for their work. The latter fund includes among its winners Zsuzsanna Bazsinka, Erika Miklósa, Katalin Szendrényi, Andrea Ulbrich, László Szvétek and Andrea Meláth. Awarded the Ferenc Liszt Award in 1971, the Mihály Székely Commemorative Plaque in 1972 and the Middle Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2014, he was also named an Artist of Merit in 2017.