Michael Krausz
Family Portraits
Laszlo Krausz (1903-1979)

Michael Krausz's father, violist, conductor and artist Laszlo Krausz, was born in Pécs, Hungary. His musical career began with the violin, which he first performed in public at the age of 13. He studied at the Municipal Music School in Pécs and then at the Budapest State Academy of Music, under Eugene Hubay. Krausz first conducted at the Academy of Music in Budapest when he was 15. Krausz left Hungary in 1923 to study at the New Vienna Conservatory. He later studied at the Vienna State Academy of Music. He served as Concertmaster of the William Wazek Orchestra and occasionally played with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

In 1926 Krausz went to Paris to study with Albert Jarosy at the Institut de Violon Moderne. He also took courses with Eugène Ysaÿe at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. In 1929 Krausz went to Switzerland where he remained until 1947. He played with the Basler Orchester Gesellschaft under Felix von Weingartner. At the same time he studied musicology, philosophy and pedagogy at Basel University.

In 1935 Krausz took up the viola and, for several years served as Principal Violist of the Radio Orchestra in Lausanne. He founded and directed the Lausanne String Orchestra. From 1938 to 1947, Laszlo Krausz served as Principal Violist of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, under Ernest Ansermet. Krausz occasionally conducted that orchestra. Krausz was director of the Ensemble Symphonique de Genève, and guest conductor of the Basler Orchester Gesellschaft. As member of the faculty at the Conservatoire de Genève, he conducted its string orchestra. Krausz was a guest conductor of numerous other European orchestras, including the Oslo Philharmonic.

In 1944, the Nazis deported Laszlo Krausz's parents (Simon and Francesca Krausz) to Auschwitz. Along with the rest of the Jewish community of Pécs, they were exterminated.

In 1947, Krausz came to the United States with his wife (Susan Krausz) and their two sons (Peter and Michael). He taught chamber music at the New York College of Music. He then joined the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell. Krausz headed the String Ensemble Department at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. Later he was Music Director and Conductor of the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra.

Krausz was also an accomplished artist. His artistic explorations included portraiture, landscape, abstract expressionism, geometric symbolism, the kabbalah alphabet, Jewish and Israeli subjects, and more. His portraits included those of many major musicians of his generation.

In 1959 Laszlo Krausz received his Masters degree in painting from Western Reserve University. He also studied art at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, and the Cooper School of Art where he eventually taught. He headed an experimental art studio at Case Institute of Technology.

Papers, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, recordings, and artworks are housed in the Krausz Archives at the
Western Reserve Historical Society:
10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Telephone: (216) 721-5722
Link for papers
Link for photographs

Laszlo Krausz's notable portraits of major 20th century musicians who sat for him, rendered mostly in pen and ink and charcoal, are housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. They include:

Pierre Boulez (composer and conductor), Robert Casadesus (pianist), Leon Fleisher (pianist), Paul Kletski, (conductor and composer), Louis Lane (conductor), Frank Martin (composer), Yehudi Menuhin (violinist and conductor), David Oistrach (violinist), Paul Paray (conductor), Arthur Rubenstein (pianist), Gunther Schuller (composer and conductor), Rudolph Serkin (pianist), Robert Shaw (conductor), Leonard Shure (pianist), Arnold Steinhardt (violinist), Igor Stravinsky (composer), George Szell (conductor), and Joseph Szigeti (violinist).

For information contact:
Music Division
The Library of Congress
Washington, D.C.


Constance Costigan

Susan Krausz

Peter Krausz