Máté Szűcs: a portrait

A film by Sibylle Strobel, Torben Jacobsen (2017)

Máté Szűcs

6 min.

The Viola “is no less agile than the violin, the sound of its strings is particularly telling, its upper notes are distinguished by their mournfully passionate accent.” (Hector Berlioz: A Treatise upon Modern Instrumentation and Orchestration)

After studying in Hungary and Belgium, winning numerous international awards and having held positions with such outstanding orchestras as the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Dresden, Máté Szűcs became 1st principal viola with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2011. In this film portrait, Szűcs explains why he gave up his first instrument, the violin, in favour of the viola, and talks about his love of nature and his attachment to the music of his native Hungary. Other topics include the central importance – often underestimated by string players – of breathing technique. The young musician presents his instrument, built in the 21st century in, among other things, excerpts from Richard Strauss’s tone poem Don Quixote, in which the character of Sancho Panza is represented by the viola.

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