Budapest, 1891 — Düsseldorf, Germany, 1977


Conductor, orchestra director


Born into a Hungarian Jewish family, Jenö (Eugen in German) studied music with his father, a well-known pianist, and trained at the Academy of Music of his home town. He built a successful career in Central Europe and in 1911 was already the conductor at the Deutsches Landestheater, in Prague; he later directed the Popular Opera of Budapest, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Altenburg Theatre, in Thuringia. In 1920 he was named musical director in Frankfurt and later at the Popular Opera of Berlin, taking the baton in Cologne from 1924 to 1933. He is remembered for introducing contemporary music, in particular that of Béla Bartók, considered by the Nazis as “degenerate”.


 With the rise of Hitler, he was forced to leave Germany. In Moscow he conducted the first performance of the Symphony No. 1 by Aram Katchaturian, in 1935, and then moved to Argentina, where he conducted at the Teatro Colón for a season. He performed in Brazil with the Argentinian company and was invited to settle in Brazil. He was artistic director and chief conductor of the OSB, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, from its debut in 1940 to 1948, when he returned to Germany to continue his career in Mannheim, Tel Aviv and Düsseldorf. There are no records of meetings between Zweig and Szenkar before 1940. But they certainly met in Brazil.


Address listed:  698 Rua Prudente de Morais (Ipanema), Rio. Tel. 27-5560