Jussi Björling Society - USA

 

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Andrew Farkas

Andrew Farkas was born in Hungary in 1936. He was a third-year law student at the University of his native city, Budapest (whose students started the Revolution of 1956) when the Russians returned. After that Andrew fled the country and immigrated to the United States. He received a Bachelor's degree from Occidental College (Los Angeles) in 1959, and after a full tour of duty with the U.S. Army, he earned a Master of Library Science degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962.

After holding several library positions at the University of California, Davis, and three years in the book business with a major firm in New York City, Andrew became the founding director of the University of North Florida Library in Jacksonville, Florida, a position he holds since 1970. He also organized, headed, and taught in an undergraduate library science program for twenty years, carrying the additional title of Professor of Library Science.

He is co-author with Anna-Lisa Björling of Jussi (Amadeus Press, 1996), the first English language biography of the late Swedish tenor, Jussi Björling; with Enrico Caruso, Jr., of Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family (Amadeus Press, 1990); editor of Lawrence Tibbett: Singing Actor (Amadeus Press, 1989); editor, contributor, and translator of Titta Ruffo: An Anthology (Greenwood Press, 1984); author, editor, and compiler of Opera and Concert Singers (Garland, 1985); editorial advisor and contributor of International Encyclopedia of Opera (St. James Press, 1993); and contributor to St. James Opera Encyclopedia (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1996.)

Mr. Farkas is editor of Opera Biography Series (Amadeus Press, 1990-to date, 15 books issued, 1 in press); advisory editor of a 42-volume reprint series entitled Opera Biographies (Arno Press, 1977); and principal editor of the Librarians' Calendar and Pocket Reference, an annual publication since 1984. He has contributed bibliographies and book chapters to operatic monographs; published numerous articles, reviews, and photography in Library Journal, The Library Scene, Florida Libraries, Previews, Opera (London), Opera News, The Opera Quarterly, The Record Collector, The New York Times, and The Negro Educational Review. He also served as music editor for the Daily Democrat (Davis, California) from 1965 to 1967.

Mr. Farkas also took part in numerous radio interviews, and on-camera in the A&E Biography: Enrico Caruso-The Man and the Myth, premiered nationwide October 11, 1998 (text based on Caruso-Farkas: Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family).

Special honors:

  • Jussian of the Year (Swedish Jussi Björling Society) 1997.

  • Distinguished Professor, University of North Florida, 1991.

  • Enrico Caruso and Lawrence Tibbett were made into talking books for the blind.

  • Enrico Caruso and Opera and Concert Singers and received the "Choice Awards" in their 1985 and 1990 list of books.

  • Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award, University of North Florida, 2000.