Ferenc Weisz
Budapest, Août 2, 1893 - Auschwitz, 30 Septembre, 1944
Pianiste et compositeur


Diplômé de l'Académie Landes en 1914 (piano et composition). Dans les années 1920/1921 il effectue une tournée de concertsà Amsterdam où il établit sa résidence. Une décennie plus tard, il est devient citoyen néerlandais. En 1925 il se marie mais divorce en 1934. A partir du 16 Décembre 1942 il habite sur la Deurloostraat, (avec Evalina Cardozo avec laquelle il aurait eu une relation.)
En 1928, il a joué lors de l'ouverture d'une exposition au Stedelijk Museum d'Amsterdam. Dans les années trente, il a donné régulièrement des concerts à Amsterdam. En 1938, il a été nommé assistant d'Alexandre Borovsky. Il également animé une "master class" au Lycée de musique d'Amsterdam. Il continue aussi à composer.

Ferenc Weisz a été interné à Westerbork. Le 14 Septembre 1943, il est déporté à Theresienstadt. Le 27 mai 1944, il accompagne le violoniste Karel Frohlich dans un programme de sonates. Le 28 Septembre 1944, Ferenc Weisz est déporté puis assassiné à Auschwitz.

Orel Foundation by Eleonore Pameijer and Carine Alders
Suppressed Music In The Netherlands Discovering Hidden Treasures

"Franz (Ferenc) Weisz (1893-1944) was born in Budapest, where he studied piano and composition. He remained in the Netherlands after a concert tour around 1920, married and obtained Dutch nationality in 1932. He taught piano, composed for this instrument and performed in many concerts. In 1943, Weisz’s Jewish background caused him to be taken first to Westerbork, then to Theresienstadt and finally to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944. Niek Verkruisen, a pupil of Weisz, possessed five compositions for piano solo that had been published by Roszavolgyi & Co in 1929. One of these virtuoso pieces, a Chopinesque suite, was performed at the hundredth Uilenburger Concert in January 2009. Since then, more of Weisz’s compositions have surfaced."

Concert à la Galerie des Glaces (Foyer du Concertgebouw d'Amsterdam) (Streaming WMV)
18 Janvier 2009

Eléonore Pameijer (flûte) et Marcel Worms (piano) avec des œuvres de Leo Smit, Dick Kattenburg et Ferenc Weisz (*).
L'Ensemble Arco avec des œuvres de Beethoven et Prokofiev.
Le guitariste Flamenco Erik Vaarzon Morel et l'acteur Gijs Scholten van Aschat jouent un «Duende».
Présentateur Hans van den Boom (Radio 4)

Ferenc Weisz : Suite fur klavier. Piano. 1922. op2
1 - Traum
2 - Tanz (09:00)
3 - Idylle
4 - Arabesque

The following text was published in Dutch in the 'EPTA Piano Bulletin Jaargang 29 - 2011/2'. It is part of the article that was called: 'Alexander Borovsky en zijn assistent Franz Weisz' and was written by Henri Nijsten. The translation 'Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz' was made by Esther de Ploeg © :

During those years Hungary was in turmoil just like Russia. On 1 March 1920 the parliament chose the 53 year old Miklós Horthy as regent. Anti-Semitism was a part of official
politics, sometimes openly so, at other times latently. By far an ideal environment for an artist of Jewish descent to work in. Around 1920 Franz Weisz and his brother Simon
(1889- 1980) decided to settle in Amsterdam, where relatives were living.

Franz Weisz in the Netherlands (1920-1943)
The Dutch papers reported on several of Franz Weisz’ concerts. He gave recitals together with violinist Alfred Indig, one of the founders of the Budapest String
Quartet, and violinist Alexander Moskowsky (member of the Hungarian String Quartet from 1940 until 1959). From 1925 until 1934 Franz Weisz was married to Henriëtte Roos (1903-1992), a former piano student.


  Franz Weisz
  Picture dating from ca. 1925,
  possession of family.

Franz Weisz and Henriëtte Weisz-Roos.
Picture dating from ca. 1925.
Possession of family

Her husband acknowledged her great talent for drawing and painting and encouraged her to further develop it. During their marriage Henriëtte assisted her husband with his piano lessons and attended the Royal Academy of Visual Arts which was located at Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam. Partly thanks to a royal grant from Queen Wilhelmina she went to Paris after the marriage ended in order to continue her studies and work. In 1929 three compositions for piano by Franz Weisz were published by the Hungarian firm Rózsavölgyi & co. Opus No. 1 consists of two Concert Etudes, which were composed in 1913 and 1918. The first etude is dédié à Stephan Tomka (1855- 1923), who was Weisz’ piano teacher at the Nemzeti Zenede in Budapest. Opus No. 2, a suite in four parts from 1922, is dédié à the eminent Dutch pianist and composer Dirk Schäfer (1873-1931). Opus No. 3, written in 1924, consists of a Nocturne and a Concert Etude and is dédié à Stephan (István) Thomán (1862-1940).
A commemorative book was put together when Dirk Schäfer died, to which Weisz also contributed. From the following passage written by Weisz we can infer the two pianists knew each other well: “Being in his company in Schoorl, where we talked at length about playing piano, and where I have had the opportunity to follow him in his art”.

Announcement of Franz Weisz and Olga Moskowsky concert in De Telegraaf of 1st April 1938.

Weisz has composed a great deal more. Jan Jaap Kassies of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Center recently discovered 60 pages worth of manuscripts by Weisz,  predominantly piano scores composed between 1922 and 1931. Ex-students of Weisz, who were taught by him in the late thirties and during the first years of the war, remember he was always writing music. Weisz was a member of the professional society for Dutch composers called Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten (GeNeCo, 1925-1942). In letters (1940) he wrote to Karel Mengelberg, the secretary of GeNeCo at that time, he told him that he had written “80/100 piano compositions”. Capricious, virtuous, richly ornamented, a mix of late romanticism and quasi improvised salon music with a hint of impressionism, not akin to Bartók. Those are the keywords after a first read of the piano scores by Franz Weisz.




  Piano suite opus 2 by Franz Weisz from 1922 (fragment),
  published by Rózsavölgyi Budapest 1929.
  Possession of Niek Verkruisen AZN.

Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz (1938-1940)

Borovsky was contracted to teach by the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum from April 1938 onwards. Franz Weisz and Jo Goudsmit were appointed as his assistants, probably to do the honours when Borovsky would be away on his travels for concerts. In the same week in which Borovsky’s classes started, Franz Weisz gave a quatre mains performance with Olga Moskowsky (1899- 1943). They gave, amongst others, the Dutch première of Scaramouche by Milhaud. Cellist Roelof Krol and pianist Solange Cats also participated in this recital: they performed Capriccio for cello and piano by Weisz. Besides being Borovsky’s assistant, Weisz also had his own students at the Lyceum: Martzen (Mapsie) Wilman and Jaap Drielsma are mentioned numerous times on student performance programmes as ‘student of Franz Weisz – assistant of Alexander Borovsky’. When Borovsky fled to the United States before the Second World War broke out, Weisz continued to teach at the Lyceum. Still, they omitted the addition ‘assistant of Alexander Borovsky’ at the end of his name.

The death of Franz Weisz

When Borovsky fled to America via Paris in 1940 Franz Weisz continued to teach at the Muzieklyceum. Weisz didn’t go into hiding when the Germans occupied the country. “I have never interfered with politics, I’m just a pianist,” he told Niek Verkruisen’s father, who owns a piano store on the Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam. Up until when Franz Weisz taught (was able to teach?) at the Lyceum is not clear. Mid 1941 his name is still mentioned in the Lyceum’s programmes: ‘Mapsie Wilman, student of Franz Weisz’. In May 1943 only the students are mentioned in programmes. Teachers are no longer mentioned. Mapsie Wilman’s final exam in the form of a piano recital took place on 29 June 1944. Franz Weisz will not be able to hear it anymore...
On 26 May 1943 he arrived in Westerbork concentration camp and there he was put on a transport to Theresienstadt on 18 January 1944. Here he still played music: on 27 May 1944 he gave a performance together with violinist Karel Fröhlich of sonatas by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. On 28 September 1944 Weisz was brought to Auschwitz where he was killed two days later, on 30 September 1944. The GeNeCo requested its members in 1940 to entrust the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag with two or three compositions for safekeeping because of the imminent war and air threats. On 17 July 1940 Franz Weisz entrusted them with three compositions. Two of those, Rhapsody for piano and orchestra   d Fabel for cello and orchestra, have later on been included in the list of orchestra compositions of Dutch composers which was compiled by the GeNeCo in the hope to promote Dutch music with large concert venues. Whether or not Weisz indeed entrusted these works to GeNeCo is unknown. This is still being researched. Franz Weisz was commemorated by the GeNeCo board on 9 March 1946 during the first meeting after the liberation as one of its members who had died in the Holocaust.

Walter Semkiw, MD

Henrietta Roos was born in 1903 in Amsterdam, Holland.  Early on, she demonstrated a natural talent for drawing, painting and music.  At the age of 5, she used a crayon to draw an accurate portrait of her father.  At 12 years of age, she did an oil painting of two birds and at the age to 16, she started painting miniature portraits.  When she was 18, she painted a portrait of her mother.  Henrietta wanted to pursue a career as an artist, but her parents disapproved and would not allow her to do so. 
At the age to 22, Henrietta married Franz Weisz, a Hungarian pianist.  Henrietta noted that she was more attracted to his name than his personality.  The marriage allowed her to pursue her desire to be an artist and at the age of 24, she entered the Dutch Royal Academy of Art, where she focused on painting. 
Her talent was noticed and for three years in a row, she was awarded the Royal Award from Queen Wilhemina, which allowed her to go study in Paris. 
Henrietta's Affinity for the Name Weisz, a Name from a Past Incarnation.
Henrietta divorced Weisz at the age of 30.  Though the custom in Holland was for a divorced woman to reassume her maiden name, Henrietta resisted.  She told her mother, regarding the name Weisz: 

Annette de Klerk

Ferenc Weisz was born on 2 August 1893 in Budapest. At the National Conservatory founded by Franz Liszt in 1875 he studied piano under Istvan (Stephan) Tomka and composition under Karoly Agghazy, completing his studies in 1914 with distinction in both disciplines. In 1919 he obtained a teaching post at the Conservatory (renamed the Music High School and later the Franz Liszt Academy), but due to the uncomfortable political circumstances of the time and rising antisemitism under the dictatorship of Miklos Horthy, Weisz left in 1920 for Amsterdam, where relatives of his had lived for several decades.
From that time he called himself Franz Weisz and in 1932 he took Dutch nationality. Between 1925 and 1934 he was married to the artist Henriette Roos. Weisz settled down in Amsterdam as a freelance music teacher and composer. In January 1925 he became a registered member of the association of Dutch composers known as Geneco (Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten). He gave music lessons at home and composed lavishly: former students recall that during their lessons he sat the whole time at his desk writing music!
Very quickly after arriving in Holland he formed a close working relationship with Dirk Schaefer, the internationally acclaimed pianist and composer, with whom he had many discussions at his home in Schoorl about piano playing and for whom he had great admiration, as Weisz himself wrote in his book Ter herinnering aan Dirk Schäfer (In Memory of Dirk Schaefer) 1873-1931. Weisz dedicated his Suite für Klavier (1922) to the pianist Schaefer.
How prolific a composer Weisz was we know from the following anecdote: In 1940 Karel Mengelberg, the secretary of Geneco, called all members of Geneco to put “2 or 3 compositions into safekeeping … given the threat of war”. Weisz replied that he had “80 to 100 piano compositions”. The musical works for which Weisz registered author's rights with Geneco between 1926 and 1940 consisted mainly of piano works (for piano solo, piano and chamber orchestra and piano with full orchestra) but there was also one symphony and several works for cello or violin and orchestra. In 1929 five of Weisz' compositions were published in Budapest (see ‘Selected works’ on the right). These works were brought to light in 2008 by Niek Verkruisen Azn, a former pupil of Weisz and son of the piano dealer on Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam, where Franz Weisz used to be a familiar figure.
Of Weisz' manuscripts only a small part has been recovered: some sixty pages, some in fair copy but most in note form. For the most part the works are fragmentary, sometimes just one line of a melody, but nevertheless all carefully numbered with opus numbers (op. 49 - 104), dated (1922-1931) and signed. Sadly, of the most complete work for piano solo, properly written out in fair copy and running to 30 pages, the first 9 pages are missing. The last two parts (pages 12 - 30, Scherzo and Carnaval) are intact.
Henri Nijsten described Weisz' music in his article Alexander Borovsky and his assistant Franz Weisz’ (EPTA Piano Bulletin, September 2011) as “Capricious, inventive, richly ornamented, a mixture of late romantic and improvised chamber music with a touch of impressionism, very different from Bartok”. In the context of the Uilenburg Concert Series, works by Weisz have been performed by Marcel Worms (2009) and Marianne Boer (2010). Both these concerts were broadcast on Dutch Radio 4.
Franz Weisz frequently accompanied the violinists Alfred Indig and Alexander Moskowsky on the piano. He also enjoyed great success together with pianist Olga Moskowsky in their premiere performance of Scaramouche, a suite for two pianos by Darius Milhaud (1938). In 1938 Weisz was appointed assistant to Alexander Borovsky, the well-known Russian pianist, who gave a master class at the Muzieklyceum (music academy) in Amsterdam. When Borovsky fled to America at the start of the Second World War, Weisz remained and continued to teach, both at the Muzieklyceum and privately at home. He considered that since he had never meddled in politics, he had nothing to fear. He was baptised into the Dutch Reformed Church in 1942 and was issued with an identity card which stated ‘bis auf weiteres vom Arbeidseinsatz freigestellt - exempt from labour duties until further notice’. But this proved of no avail: in May 1943 he was arrested at No 74 Deurloostraat and transported to Westerbork. In January 1944 he arrived in Theresienstadt, and in May he accompanied the Czech violinist Karel Froehlich in a recital there (described in Muziek in Theresienstadt 1941-1945’, by Joza Karas, translated by Theodore van Houten, Panta Rhei, 1995). On 28 September 1944 Franz Weisz was transported to Auschwitz, where two days later he met his death.

For further information or purchase orders of the works published by Rózsavölgyi & Co. in Budapest 1929, please contact: annette@deklerkhome.nl
These works are also included in the collection of the Netherlands Radio Music Library.

- Concert-étude op.1 # 1 (1913 dédié à Stephan Tomka)
- Concert-étude op.1 # 2 (1918)
- Suite pour Piano op.2 (I. Dream; II. Tanz; III. Idyll; IV. Arabesque) (1922 dédié à Dirk Schafer)
- Nocturne op.3 # 1 (1924 dédié à Stephan Toman)
- Concert-étude op.3 # 2 (1924 dédié à Stephan Toman)
- 5 pièces pour piano (Édition publiée à Budapest par Rozsavolgy, 1929)