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In the 1930s, the name of this composer was on the lips of all music lovers of the world. Even the followers of the classics sang his melodies. How did Imre Kalman, who worked in the light genre of the Viennese operetta, manage to achieve such unprecedented success? Everything is simple – his works are considered a win-win option for all musical theaters. It is enough to put his operetta on the stage, and the theater is guaranteed to have its own audience. Kalman overcame a lot of difficulties, experienced the greatest success and met true love. His name is now associated with the flourishing of the Viennese operetta, because he created bright, optimistic and funny works, although his life was often not so joyful.

Born on the shores of Balaton
On October 24, 1882, a boy was born in the Coppsteins family, who entered the history of music under the name of Imre Kalman. His parents lived in the town of Siofok on the shores of the largest Hungarian lake Balaton and called their son Emmerich. In his school years, he took the more neutral one in exchange for his Jewish surname – Kalman.

As is often the case in Jewish families, parents want their children to learn musical instruments from early childhood. For these purposes, a grand piano appeared in the Koppsteins house, on which the eldest daughter Wilma began to play. The sounds of music flowed around the house from morning to late evening. When Emmerich grew older, his sister had already performed simple pieces. Often his mother was looking for him all over the house, and found under the piano where he climbed to listen to his favorite melodies, but there he fell asleep to the sounds of the instrument.

Distinguished guest
When virtuoso violinist Francis Lild arrived at the resort Siofok and took down the lower floor of their house, Emmerich’s life took a sharp turn. The concertmaster of the Budapest Opera spent hours rehearsing on his violin, making an indelible impression on the boy. composer Imre KalmanTot, fascinated, looked into the window to the resident, he wanted not only to hear the enchanting sounds, but also to see how they were born. These observations distracted the venerable lord, and once he complained about the boy to the owner of the house. It turned out that this is the son of Karl Coppstein. What a surprise Lilda was when he found out that the child could easily sing the rhapsody of Franz Liszt, played by his sister. Then the violinist asked him to sing another work of the great composer. Hearing Emmerich’s unmistakable singing, the violin professor came to an indescribable delight. Since then, the host’s son has been allowed to sit on a chair next to the professor for days on end and listen to his scales and sketches.

The first Imre Kalman
In 1892, his father brought Emmerich to Budapest and gave him to the gymnasium. The boy was very sad for his native city, and books helped him to distract from these thoughts. He received his first piano lessons at the gymnasium. One day, Kalman received alarming news from his family – it is better not to return home. Imre Kalman, a composer, in that Emmerich’s father wanted to turn his hometown into a prosperous resort, so he invested a lot of money in building an operetta theater, building a hippodrome and several hotels. It all ended for Karl Koppstein too sad – his property was confiscated for the debts of companions, and the family had to move to Budapest.

Imre was sheltered by Aunt Gysi, he entered another gymnasium and began earning tutoring. After many years, Kalman recalled that a terrible feeling of uncertainty about the future day never left him. And those who later wrote funny stories about him did not even have an idea how hard Kalman’s youth was. Then he and possessed a passion for music. He decided to learn by all means and become a musician. Only music at the time helped him to forget about everyday problems.

Music is a cure for adversity
Imre continued to study in a gymnasium, to give lessons in Greek and Latin, physics and mathematics. And, despite this workload, he made time to study at a music school. For this, peers nicknamed him Fugue. Having picked up his spare time, composer Imre Kalmanon rushed to the piano to learn the works of Chopin and Schumann. Their music is drunk Imre. And during the holidays it was impossible to pull him away from the piano and make him have dinner. From now on, music became for Kalman the best medicine for any adversity.

At the age of 15, Imre Kalman appeared for the first time in front of the audience and performed Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor. Journalists also came to the concert to evaluate the abilities of the beginning musician. The young man was so frail that correspondents enthusiastically wrote about the talent of “twelve-year-old musician.” The laudatory press called Kalman a child prodigy.

Long-awaited grand piano
Soon his parents moved to a more spacious dwelling, where Imre was able to move. Now he didn’t have to give money to his family. He collected 500 crowns, which the composer Imre Kalmanpomogli could make the young man realize his dream – to buy a piano.

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