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January 20, 2012

Hungarian violinist died aboard Costa Concordia; helped children to safety

Like much of the world, I have been riveted by the horrid fate of the Costa Concordia, which ran aground last Friday. It should never have happened, of course, and the investigation into the how and why is likely to be long and painful.

News reports about the first victim identified from the wreckage only adds to the darkness of this event. He was a 38-year-old Hungarian violinist named
Sandor Feher, who worked aboard the ship as a member of the the Bianco Trio.

Witnesses say that Mr. Feher first helped children with their life jackets before returning to his cabin for his violin. It is hard not to think of the Titanic and stories of its musicians.

Here is a video Mr. Feher posted just last month in an effort to ...

secure a job as a violin teacher. It seems he taught us all something in his final hours:

Posted by Tim Smith at 5:53 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Clef Notes


What a tragic loss of life caused by such a immoral, irresponsible act. Very sad.

The violinist thinks of people first, then of saving his instrument. He does not think of himself. We think of him, therefore, as the most deserving survivor of us all.

Rest in peace my friend! All Hungarians are very proud of you! You were a real hero! - Attila Fovenyessy - New York City USA -

Rest in peace Sandor! All Hungarians are very proud of you!

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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