Peter Sandor Erős

ErosMaestro.  Father.  Friend.  To connoisseurs, interpreters, and creators of classical music, Maestro Peter Sandor Erős represented a genius natural talent and a link to the Masters of Old Europe.  To his family, he was a loving eccentric man, exceedingly intelligent but always leading with his heart.  To his friends, and there are many, he was someone on whom one could count to be frank, direct, and sincere.  His humanity expressed itself through his deep and ever-present sense of humor, which permeated everything, even to the end. Loving.

 

Born to parents Egon and Agnes (Rozgonyi) in Budapest-1932, he lost his father in WWII when only 12 years old, surviving to escape Stalinist Hungary in 1956 along with his future wife, Győrgyi Weiser. The immigrant couple carved out a life in Holland, where Maestro Erős became the world famous Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra’s youngest Associate Conductor at the age of 28. They had two boys together, Otto and Andreas, born 1960 and 1963 respectively. He toured the world, conducting the world’s major orchestras to great acclaim.  Maestro Erős conducted every orchestra and composition as if his hair was on fire, and sometimes it seemed to be.  Passionate.

 

Every interaction with a friend was an opportunity to connect, perhaps to mentor, often to entertain.  He saw right through you, broke down every barrier, and if he sensed sincerity, would do anything for you.  His talent was a vehicle that he used to touch thousands of lives, and people could not help but be charmed and changed by him.  An Old World man, he was comfortable in many cultures and languages, settling in Seattle after spending significant time with major orchestras and Universities in Amsterdam, San Diego, Perth, Baltimore, Stuttgart, Aalborg, and Malmö.  Receiving his music education at the vaunted Liszt Academy in Budapest, Maestro Erős studied under Kodaly and other greats, and was mentored by legends such as George Szell and Antal Dorati.  He was well-read in history, knowledgeable, and wise.  A man with a war-torn childhood, he worked hard, made the most of his talents, achieved much, lived a long life, and left a legacy through family, students, friends, and musical recordings.  Our beloved Opa left us on the morning of Friday September 12th., 2014, just four days after suffering a severe stroke, and just 10 days before his 82nd birthday.   Although he could not respond during the four days, and he did not suffer, we are sure that he knew that he was not alone in his last days.  There is one less star in the sky, and the world will feel less complete without him.  Courageous.

 

Peter Erős leaves behind two children; Otto who resides in Auckland, New Zealand, and Andreas who resides in San Diego with his wife, Christy.  Opa will always be fondly remembered by his three grandchildren from Christy and Andreas; Diego, Alejandro, and Liliana.  He is survived by his sister Juci Danos and her son Trevor Danos in Sydney, Australia, as well as former wives Győrgyi Erős in San Diego and Jasmin Leuthold in Switzerland, both of whom remained life-long friends with him.  Opa, we love you, we miss you, you will always be in our hearts and memories of you will continue to bring a smile to our faces.  We hope that Pearly Gate Peter can handle playing second fiddle to you, and please don’t give the harp players up there too hard a time. Unforgettable.

 

The family would like to acknowledge several of the many special friends who enriched Peter’s life, especially in his later years in Seattle.  Donna Moss and Katalin Orosz were both caretakers who evolved into great friends for Peter, and made his retirement years bearable. Thank you for the many hours of sitting on the sofa with our Opa, and listening to his stories and commentary. So many dedicated students who became Peter’s family in Seattle and beyond! Jonathan Pasternack and Jeremy Briggs Roberts were Peter’s surrogate sons in Seattle, and you did your Maestro proud.  Thank you for your incredible dedication to him and for making his life more complete.

 

Whether you knew him for 60+ years as some of his friends have, or you met him briefly, the family invites you to join us in celebrating Peter’s life, and to share your stories of how he touched your life.  www.bartonfuneral.com/category/obituaries/

 

A scholarship fund is being established in Peter Erős’ name, benefiting aspiring conducting students.  If you would like to donate to this fund and help carry on Peter’s musical legacy, or want information on services being held, please contact Andy Erős. (U.S.A. 619-279-4009 orLittleHeroesKarate@gmail.com)

 

MY DEAR FATHER, AS YOU GO

MAY YOU FEEL AND ALWAYS KNOW

YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU’LL BE MISSED

BY EVERY HAND AND CHEEK YOU KISSED

 

MY DEAR FATHER, AS YOU SLEEP

ASHES SCATTERED IN THE DEEP

EACH FAMILIAR SOUL YOU’LL MEET

WILL SAY YOU MADE THEM MORE COMPLETE

 

MY DEAR FATHER, AS YOU REST

HAVING ALWAYS DONE YOUR BEST

EVERY TALENT, EVERY FLAW

LEFT US EVEN MORE IN AWE

 

MY DEAR FATHER, ALWAYS THERE

ALWAYS HUMAN, ALWAYS CARED

DON’T BE SCARED, JUST HOLD MY HAND

NO WORRIES IN THE PROMISED LAND

 

MY DEAR FATHER, BEST OF ALL

WITH ALL YOUR STORIES, TRUE OR TALL

THE AFTER-LIFE HAS MANY FOLKS

WHO HAVEN’T EVER HEARD YOUR JOKES!

 

MY DEAR FATHER, AS YOU LEAVE

MAY YOU HAVE SOME SMALL REPRIEVE

FROM THE LIFE THAT TESTED YOU

AND AS YOU PASS, WE SAY ADIEU

 

THOUGH GOD RETIRED YOUR BATON

IT IS YOU THAT WE NOW LAUD

YOUR AUDIENCE WAS NEVER GONE

IT IS YOU WE NOW APPLAUD

 

 

With all our love, respect, and gratitude.

Your sons Andy and Otto  9/15/14

12 Responses to “Peter Sandor Erős”

  • Letty Robinson says:

    My thoughts are with you, Andy and Otto, and your family and friends. Your father was a brilliant man and will be remembered through his music and stories that will live on and on.

  • Joe H. White says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your Father’s passing. I spoke with him only once on the phone and I could easily sense as he was talking his great love and concern for both you, George and Andy. God bless you guys, and I’ll be praying for each of you. Take care. – J.

  • George Bozarth says:

    Our dear Peter –

    When I asked you how you were doing, you almost always replied “Still vertical . . .”

    Please know that you will always be “Still vertical” in our minds and hearts.

    We at the School of Music shall missing your presence in our midst.

    George Bozarth

  • Brenda Banks says:

    My condolences to you, Andy and Otto. I was very fond of your father, who would sometimes visit me in my office at the School of Music for a chat. He would greet me with “Hello, beautiful.” Of course, he greeted any woman with that, but he always made every one feel like he meant her especially. In other words, he was the definition of charm.

    The first time he walked in and sat down, I was very new at my job and not even sure who he was, but unable to get a word in edgewise, I just sat back and enjoyed one of his famous stories. Then suddenly he stopped himself mid-sentence, looked me in the eye, and said “That’s a Hooongarian accent, if you were wondering.” Such a delightful man he was. I’ll miss him very much.

  • Shannon Dudley says:

    What you said in the obituary about Peter breaking down the barriers with people and seeking sincerity–that is what I remember best about him. He was a senior colleague to me at the UW School of Music, and I never got to know him well, but we always felt happy to greet one another in the halls. Universities could use a lot more people like Peter, may he rest in peace.

  • Susan Cady says:

    I am so sorry to hear the Maestro is gone.
    He always had a kind greeting for me as he passed by my office. I came to his house numerous times to tune his little piano and if I was lucky we would have a glass of sherry at 4pm. He was always fascinating no matter what he talked about.
    I miss him always. Nobody else like him.
    My condolences to his boys.

  • Arthur Grossman says:

    Peter was one of the most enlivening influences in the School of Music. His effect on the orchestra was magical. I believe that everyone in that ensemble revered and loved him, for his consummate musical knowledge as well as his caring attitude toward the players. His knowledge of the repertoire was encompassing, and his ability to perform in so many styles of music was remarkable. He will be sorely missed by the many students who worked with him as well as his colleagues on the faculty.

  • Aaron Chang says:

    Maestro Eros was my conductor at the University of Washington. One of the reasons I attended University was to, on some level, search for “Truth.” Happily for me, there was a little bit of that in Maestro. I thank him for having the candor to share it with me and the graciousness to do it with humor.

  • Jerry Kracht says:

    I was saddened today to learn of Peter Eros’s death. When I was still at PLU Peter and I shared a concert there in the then new Lagerquist Concert Hall. I think it was his first run-out with the UW orchestra and he seemed to enjoy it immensely. And that was the Peter I came to know as the years went on–enjoying music and life immensely. His heart was as big as his conducting gestures were small. And he showed us all how the “old school” is still good. Rest well, Peter. You’ve earned it.

  • Christina (Kitti) Rozsnyai says:

    My mother Mimi (Elisabeth Rozsnyai-Varo) told me about Peter’s death when we talked on the phone a few days ago. It touched my heart, as always, when a piece of the past is taken away. I haven’t seen Peter for decades, I moved to Hungary and his life took him elsewhere, but there was news now and then from my mother. But it’s the decades back that left an impression. I was about 16 when Peter moved to San Diego to take over the baton of the San Diego Symphony from my father, Zoltan Rozsnyai. I remember him at our house sitting at the piano with my dad and both of them singing a soprano aria with much drama to their own accompaniment – and to the merriment of their audience and themselves. I remember visiting at their house ever so often, the lovely atmosphere with charming Györgyi and Peter. I remember Otto, the serious one, and Andy, not so much – they were a few years younger than me. I’m sure everyone Peter once knew has strong memories of him, I think he was like that.

  • Nancy Hautala says:

    Maestro will be sorely missed. Each day as he would walk into the green room at Meany he would call out, Hello Nancy my love and I would respond Greetings Peter me darlin’ He was a charmer, a great storyteller and a very honest and sincere man. You always knew where he stood and I respected that tremendously. He has been missed since he retired and his passing is grieved by many. Rest in peace or maybe you are conducting a heavenly orchestra.

  • Ada M. Marin, M.D. & Linda Clark says:

    Dear Andy, Christy, Diego, Sasha, and Lily: Please accept our condolences during this difficult time. Although we did not know him well, we enjoyed meeting him briefly a couple of times in your home.. And we know of your deep love for him… May he live forever in your hearts.

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