The rise and bizarre fall of a musical prodigy A Hungarian pianist was hailed as a boy, played for royalty and later took New York by storm. But moving to L.A. proved, in many ways, to be his undoing, and he lived for decades in flophouse rooms. By Anthony Mostrom, Special to the Los Angeles […]
All entries by this author
New York Times review of Kevin Bazzana’s “Lost Genius: The Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy. “.
Documentary in four parts on YouTube.
“A biography has recently been published of yet another remarkable nut case: Moondog, a composer and performer who became a noted street person in New York in the 1950s and ’60s. I had already been thinking about the surprising similarities between Nyiregyházi and Moondog, who died, respectively, in 1987 and 1999, when the news came of [Bobby] Fischer’s death in Iceland
Erwin Nyiregyhazi playing a rare work by Blanchet (‘In the Old Turkish Harem Garden’), in his own free version, preceded by a few words by Gregor Benko.
January 23, 2008: Short list for Charles Taylor prize for literary non-fiction announced. Kevin Bazzana, who won various literary awards for the biography of Glenn Gould he published in 2003, makes this year’s short list for Lost Genius: The Story of a Forgotten Musical Maverick (McClelland & Stewart). Bazzana writes about Ervin Nyiregyhazi, a Hungarian-born concert pianist and composer and a deeply disturbed musician of extraordinary talent.
Wall Street Journal: Born in 1903, Hungarian pianist Ervin Nyiregyházi (pronounced air-veen nyeer-edge-hah-zee) played Buckingham Palace at age 8, was the subject of a book by the time he turned 13 and soon enjoyed critical success on two continents.
As an adult, he was an alcoholic, addicted to paid sex and afraid to perform in public on the piano. His career foundered, despite champions as diverse as Bela Lugosi and Arnold Schoenberg, and he spent decades living in poverty, mostly in a succession of cheap hotel rooms in California, even after his rediscovery and a brief period of international celebrity in the 1970s.
People Magazine: For Pianist Nyiregyhazi, Fame, Unjustly, Is Nine Wives and Ten Photographed FingersMay 11th, 2009 | By admin | Category: News
March 13, 1978, Vol. 9, No. 10 For Pianist Nyiregyhazi, Fame, Unjustly, Is Nine Wives and Ten Photographed Fingers When I play, it’s as though I am Franz Liszt himself,” says Californian Ervin Nyiregyházi. Even critics accept the braggadocio. A century back, composer Liszt was himself a child-prodigy pianist, flamboyant maestro and herculean womanizer. His […]
In the YouTube excerpt below, Nyiregyhazi appears approximately two minutes in. IMDB describes The Lost Zeppelin: This film, like Capra’s Dirigible (1931), is also loosely based on the crash of the airship Italia, flown by Umberto Nobile, around May 25, 1928 near the North Pole, and the international rescue effort that cost early polar explorer […]