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March 2010

     
 

In Memoriam:


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our esteemed colleague and dear friend, Ferenc Vajda.

Ferenc passed away on 17 January 2010, and was buried on 23 January 2010 in the town of Zsennye, to which he had retired some years ago. He is survived by his companion of many years, Ms. Edit Gárdonyi; his son, Máté Vajda, who works as a lighting specialist at the Palace of Arts; his daughter, Petra Vajda, and his granddaughter, Johanna Flora. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

In 2003 Ferenc joined Artec Consultants Inc as a Special Consultant on the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall project in Budapest, Hungary, working with the project design team until the completion of the project in 2005. His long experience as an expert stage technology designer and consultant made him an invaluable member of the design team, and his contributions were significant to the success of the project.

Beyond his role as consultant and advisor, Ferenc was also a friend – an enthusiastic connoisseur of Hungarian wine and food, Ferenc never missed an opportunity to introduce us to another favorite vintage, while sharing much-enjoyed stories about his experiences in theater, and the wider world. Ferenc was a generous, civilized man, a gentleman, and he will be deeply missed.

Ed Arenius (left) Ferenc Vajda (middle) Chris Darland (right) at the Hungarian House of Wine
Ed Arenius (left) Ferenc Vajda (middle) Chris Darland (right) at the Hungarian House of Wine

Curriculum Vitae

Mr. Vajda was a graduate of the Budapest Technical University in Mechanical Engineering.

He gained practical expertise in the three famous East German theatres: the Berliner Ensemble, Grosses Haus Dresden, and the Leipziger Oper.

In Hungary he was employed at the official Hungarian State Planning Ministry for public buildings, in a group specializing in theatres and multipurpose cultural centers. Mr. Vajda was the designer responsible for the renovation of the stage technology at the Hungarian State Opera, and in renovation projects of many theatres in Hungary.

As the main contractor he designed, delivered and installed the lighting system for the Hungarian exhibition hall at EXPO Sevilla 1992, and was consultant in a similar project at Hannover 2000.

He was a member of the Hungarian Centre of the International Theatre Institute (IT), a co-founder of the association of theatre technicians in Hungary, and a founding member of the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT). In the latter two organizations he served as a member of the Executive Committee for a number of years. In 1994 he was awarded the Petzval prize by OPAKFI (the Hungarian Scientific Society for Optics, Acoustics, Motion Pictures and Theatre Technology).

Ferenc Vajda (left) Ed Arenius (right) in Budapest Hungary overlooking Danube River
Ferenc Vajda (left) Ed Arenius (right) in Budapest Hungary overlooking Danube River

Mr. Vajda was a fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies ("The American Theatre"). He was special editor of the Encyclopedia of Hungarian Theatre Art. For many years he lectured at the University for Applied Arts to architects and designers, and to scenographers, stage and costume designers at the University for Fine Arts.

In 2009 the Budapest Technical University awarded Mr. Vajda a special diploma in recognition of his contributions to stage technology design and engineering.

 
     
 
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