Dr Mihály Ittzés - obituary

13 June 2018

It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr Mihály Ittzés on Tuesday morning.

Dr Mihály Ittzés became co-worker of the Kodály Institute in 1973. He was for a long time director of the library, for 20 years he was Vice Director of the Institute, a leading  research professor, a key figure in the musical life of the city of Kecskemét. He lectured, gave seminars and workshops in four continents.

His research and scholarly publications revealing the multicoloured richness of Zoltán Kodály’s lifework are considered to be among the most important writings in the field of the Kodály research. His most important volumes are the following: 

Zoltán Kodály, in retrospect : a Hungarian national composer in the 20th century on the border of East and West, 

22 zenei írás (22 Musical Writings), 

“A múlt csak példa legyen…,” a magyar történelem Kodály műveiben (“The past should only be an example…”, the history of Hungary in Kodály’s compositions)

Bárdos Lajos kis monográfia (Lajos Bárdos, monography)

The depth and the richness of his knowledge in the field of music, music theory and musicology have been shown not only in his own volumes but also in those that he, as an outstanding editor, published over the past decades.

Dr Mihály Ittzés was elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, the President of the Hungarian Kodály Society, and between 1993 and 2001 he served as Vice President of the International Kodály Society. He received numerous awards including the Apáczai Csere János Award, Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Kodály Award from the City of Kecskemét, Szabolcsi Bence Award, only to name but a few.

Professor Ittzés’ death is a great loss to the Kodály Institute and to the society of Hungarian musicians. His loss will be felt far beyond the borders of Hungary. The news of his death has left us all devastated. We have lost a wonderful and most committed colleague. He always unselfishly supported my work, I could always count on him. He very tactfully directed my attention toward yet unknown aspects of music, music pedagogy and Kodály’s lifework. The huge gap that he has left behind will be extremely difficult to fill.

László Norbert Nemes 

Director of the Kodály Institute