Violinist György Pauk Publishes His Autobiography

The book, entitled "A Life in Music: Memories of 80 Years with the Violin," recounts György Pauk's rich life and career


Pauk's memoir encompasses both the professional and the personal, recounting some of his broad experiences with various players, conductors, composers, and orchestras.

The Hungarian-born violinist will donate all sales royalties to charities that support young musicians in developing their careers. Written during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pauk has expressed great concern regarding the havoc that the pandemic has wreaked on the careers of many freelance or self-employed musicians.

The autobiography recounts the difficult start of his life. After losing both his parents in the Holocaust, he was raised by his grandmother in the Budapest Ghetto. Despite these trying conditions he showed early promise on the violin, and at age 13 began studying at the Liszt Academy.

Early in his career, Pauk defected from Soviet-controlled Hungary and became a "stateless person" at only 22. By 1967, he had become a British citizen, having relocated to Great Britain on the advice of Yehudi Menuhin.

He was the winner of the Paganini and the Jacques Thibaud International Violin Competitions and has performed on all five continents with most of the major orchestras and conductors.

Pauk is regarded as one of the world's leading interpreters of Bartók. He also has a rich and varied twentieth-century repertoire and has given world premieres of works by Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Schnittke, Maxwell Davies, and Michael Tippett.

Alongside his highly successful playing career, Pauk is an acclaimed pedagogue, gaining a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in 1987. He is a leading authority on the Hungarian Violin School, which descends from Joseph Joachim — a collaborator of Johannes Brahms and Robert and Clara Schumann.