The music of Jenő Hubay, written in a strongly Romantic style, is numerous, large-scale and ambitious. In addition to four violin concertos, an expansive Sonate Romantic for violin and piano, and many other violin pieces, Hubay also composed eight operas and four symphonies. While these large-scale works have faded into oblivion, the violin showpieces collected under the heading Scènes de la Csárdá are heard from time to time, and the best-known of these is the fourth, the romantic and fiery Hejre Kati (Come on, Katy).
Some titles of his compositions
- 14 Csardases, including Hejre Kati (no. 4, op. 32) and Hullamzo Balaton (no. 5 Op. 33).
- The Butterfly, Op. 30, No. 3
- Der Geigenmeister von Cremona (The Violin Maker of Cremona) (op. 40), the piece has a famous violin solo, played independently very often.
- Etudes Concertante Op. 89
- Fleur de Mai Op. 37 no. 1
- Zephyr Op. 30 no. 5
- Nocturne Op. 42
- Fantasie hongroise Op. 1
- Lahore Suite Op. 3 no. 1
- Carmen- Fantasie Brilliante Op. 3 no. 3
- Eine Pusztenfahrt Op. 57
- Echos de la Puszta Op. 7
- Scenes d’enfants Op. 84
- Fliederbusch Op. 109
- 4 violin concertos including Violin Concerto no. 3 in G Minor Op. 99
- 8 Operas
Hubay’s original name was Eugen Huber, but it was "Magyarized" early in his career. His first teacher was his father, who was kapellmeister of the Hungarian National Opera and a professor of violin at the Budapest Conservatory. His father allowed his young son to play a Viotti concerto in public at the age of eleven but then wisely kept him from premature exploitation, sending him at thirteen to Berlin and then to Paris for five years of study first with Joseph Joachim and then with Henri Vieuxtemps.
By the time Hubay was twenty he had made a successful debut in Paris, where he became a close friend of Vieuxtemps. (After Vieuxtemps’ death in 1881, Hubay edited and completed several of his unpublished works). In 1882 he went to Brussels as principal professor at the Conservatory there. Four years later he returned to Budapest permanently, as successor to his father at that city’s Conservatory. He was appointed director there in 1919.
Like Joachim before him, Hubay was the recipient of many honors, including knighthood and a doctorate, and he also found a warm admirer in Johannes Brahms. He organized two string quartet groups, one in Brussels and one in Budapest.
Laszlo Gombos <laszlogzti.hu> writes:
Hubays original name was Jenő Huber, not Eugen, as his name was translated in West Europe. He changed his surname in 1879. He was 15 years old, when he went to Berlin (1873–76). Later his friend was Vieuxtemps in Paris (1878–1881), who gave him further his musical heritage, but not tought Hubay in the normal way. Hubay was teacher of the National Conservatory in Budapest from 1886–1899, and at the same time (1886–1936) principal professor of the Academy of Music, which is a different institution! He was director of the Academy 1919–1934.