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Such a great, insightful, but personal blog; I love it. The music is also undeniably beautiful and moving.

Kurt Nemes' Classical Music Almanac

One of the first composers whose name I learned was Franz Liszt. That was a result of my Hungarian ancestry. My grandfather came to the United States in 1904, and my father, though born here, grew up speaking Hungarian. I once had a friend named Nick, who used to call me a hot-blooded Magyar, but in truth, in my youth, I was shy, and part of that also had to do with my background.

My grandfather settled in northern Indiana after going through Ellis Island. My home town, South Bend, was a huge manufacturing center because of Studebaker’s, which made Conestoga wagons in the previous century and had become a major automaker in the first half of the 20th. Huge numbers of Europeans migrated to South Bend and to the Gary, Indiana and Chicago area around the time my grandfather did. Our city had large Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Belgian and…

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