Closed Exhibitions in the Museum of Music History

Hungarian Violin Makers. The Kónya Family and the Disciples Konya cat cover

Temporary exhibition in the 7th room of the Museum of Music History

Curator: Anna Baranyi

The exhibition is open: From 1 October 2015


The first member of a three-generation family of major Hungarian instrument makers István Kónya (1919–1999), began building instruments for their own pleasure, in a self-taught manner. His instruments were first noticed by the Tátrai String Quartet, and David Oistrakh, later it was Yehudi Menuhin who gave him the impetus to study at the age of forty-five in Cremona (Italy). After obtaining his diploma, he returned to Hungary and worked at his workshop in the locality of Tata. Both of his sons entered his footsteps. The elder, István (b. 1946), also studied in Cremona and earned a reputation there under the name of Stefano Conia. However, the second son, Lajos Kónya (b. 1948), remained in Hungary, it was here that he studied and later opened an own workshop. The third generation of the family is active partly in Cremona (Stefano Conia Jr, b. 1975) and partly in Budapest (Lajos Kónya Jr, b. 1977).


The impact of the Kónya violin makers extends beyond the immediate family framework, as Stefano Conia raised a large number of foreign disciples in Cremona, while both Lajos Kónya Snr and Lajos Kónya Jr have disciples in Hungary, like András Tassy and Róbert Baki.    


Our exhibition offers an insight into the activity of Kónya family and their Hungarian disciples, by showcasing instruments, diplomas, and awards, as well as photographs and artefacts.


Pictures of the exhibition:

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Pictures of the opening ceremony (1 October 2015):

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Directed by: Anna Baranyi

Executed by 
members of the Museum of Music History: Anna Baranyi, Péter Gerő 

National Cultural Fund, HAS Research Centre for the Humanities