Memorial Plaque for Cecilia Vajda

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Margaret Green describes the events of Thursday 28 April 2016

At 18:00, under a slightly grey London sky, about ninety people gathered on the pavement outside 105 Hallam Street, W1W 5LT, to witness the unveiling of a green plaque in honour of the Hungarian musician and teacher, Professor Cecilia Vajda. (It was Mary Skone-Roberts who pointed out to the assembled crowd the apartment in which Cecilia had lived, and commented on the significance that the window was open!)

Cecilia Vajda Green PlaqueThe Lord Mayor, the Lady Christobel Flight, welcomed the assembled guests and opened the ceremony. Gilbert de Greeve, and then Dr László Norbert Nemes, introduced a series of speeches reflecting upon Cecilia Vajda’s life and work. Three of her former students described experiences of her expert tuition and musical guidance: Elizabeth Willcocks, Lucinda Geoghegan and Alan Murdock. Finally, His Excellency the Hungarian Ambassador Péter Szabadhegy told us that only four Hungarians had been honoured in this way, detailing also accolades given to Cecilia by the Hungarian nation. He then unveiled the plaque. Read some of the speeches here.

Franciska IspanThe ceremony closed with the singing of ‘Harmonia Mundi’ (‘We Gather Here Together’), conducted by Franciska Ispán, former Director of Studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. This was a fitting tribute to an ‘exceptional musician, inspirational teacher and special lady’!

Mary Skone-RobertsI would like to express our thanks to Mary Skone-Roberts for all she has done to preserve the memory of a special friend and remarkable colleague. Thank you, Mary.

For more photographs of the day, plus transcripts and video of the speeches from Gilbert de Greeve, Dr László Norbert Nemes, Lucinda Geoghegan and Alan Murdock please click here.