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   First signs pointing to the future path through life

  Four year old Ferenc in front of his home

Ferenc Fricsay’s earliest childhood recollection, one he very much enjoyed telling, was already about conducting:

“My father was a military band leader, and at one of the outdoor concerts he used to conduct on summer afternoons, I caused a minor disturbance at the age of four. I was usually sitting with my mother in the audience. That day, suddenly I disappeared from her side and walked to the orchestra, stood behind my father who was conducting, and full of devotion, imitated his movements. My performance was a tremendous success – the audience was greatly amused. The laughter didn’t distract my father, he didn’t even turn around. But the organzier reacted immediately because the piece was a serious one and the laughter rather out of place. With a fast grip he took my little arm and led me back to my mother.

  These and similar episodes made my parents decide that my musical education should   begin at the same time as my entry into primary school. So I started to play the piano   when I was six. Three times a week my mother accompanied me to the lessons. She   waited, patiently knitting, together with the other mothers, for the lesson to end.

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