Gabor Rejto, Cellist

Rejto with Daniel GaisfordGabor Rejto was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1916, and immigrated to the United States in 1939. His first cello teacher was Frederick Teller. Margaret Campbell in her book The Great Cellists, says Teller's teaching was "exceptionally forward looking." At sixteen, Rejto entered the Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied with Adolf Schiffer, who had been David Popper's pupil and assistant. In 1936, at the age of twenty and already a touring artist, he embarked on advanced studies with Pablo Casals, first in Barcelona and then in Prades. (The photo to the left shows Rejto with former student Daniel Gaisford, now a concert artist in his own right.) Rejto greatly admired Casals, and said, "I am sure that I have not consciously tried to imitate him, but nevertheless, Casals remains one of the great influences of my musical life."

Rejto was a resident of the US from 1939 until his death in 1987. During his career, he was on the faculty of the Manhattan and Eastman school of music from 1949 to 1954. He toured the world as a concert cellist, including a tour of the Soviet Union in 1963. Beginning in 1954 he headed the advanced master class for cellists at the Santa Barbara Music Academy of the University of Southern California.

Rejto was committed to chamber music. He was the cellist in the Paganini and Hungarian string quartets, and was a founding member of the Alma Trio. His chamber music experience attracted many students to his Cello Workshops held throughout the United States.

Rejto was chosen Artist Teacher of the Year at the American String Teacher’s Association’s 25 anniversary conference. A survey done at the time showed that he was one of the top three cello teachers, with respect to number of students. Rejto said, "Each student is different...the teacher must be involved, and must be aware of the individual needs of his students...the teacher must be not only an instructor, but a psychologist."

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