Born: November 7, 1810 Died: June 15, 1893
As a pianist, conductor and composer whose family attended intimate presentations of the chamber music of Beethoven, Ferenc first moved to Kolozsar (the cultural center of a large geographical area) and then to Pest pursuing his music. His meritorious playing and repertory was lauded by many and included works by Hummel, Herz, Thalberg, Chopin and Liszt. But having come to Pest, and recently arrived from the Hungarian theatre company of Buda, Erkel became completely emersed in the Municipal Theatre of Pest. His two most successful operas were "Batori Maria" and "Hunyadi Laszlo" only to be followed through an arduous set of cultural and political circumstances by "Bank ban". In the latter two operas Erkel developed an uniquely Hungarian operatic form incorporating Viennese nuances with the texture of Hungarian folksongs. Erkel was by no means limited in scope. His compositions also included choral works, ballet, incidental music, songs, chamber pieces, piano works, and orchestral compositions. Much of his music as informed by his piano playing techniques and the verbunkos of Hungary.