Julia Seiber Boyd

In this interview, filmed in two separate sessions during the Covid 19 pandemic, Julia Seiber-Boyd talks about her parents, composer Mátyás Seiber (1905-1960) and dancer Lilla Bauer (1912-2011).


Born in 1949, Julia Seiber Boyd studied History at the University of Oxford, graduating in 1971. Her studies lead to a research degree in Byzantine Studies, and in 1977 she published her book, The role of the Urban Saint in Early Byzantine Society. In 1979 Julia married Simon Boyd, a publisher, and moved from Oxford to Cambridge, where she followed a career in Family Law, retiring some 25 years later, with occasional voluntary work for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

In 2005, marking the centenary of her father’s birth, Julia formed the Mátyás Seiber Trust, with the partipation of Seiber’s former pupils and friends including Hugh Wood, Nigel Bonham-Carter, Alan Gibbs and Bob Hansen at Morley College. Others such as Malcolm Lipkin and Michael Graubart were also involved in the 2005 celebrations at Morley College but not as trustees. Further celebrations took place in 2010 for the 50th anniversary of Mátyás’ death. Over the years, Julia’s work with the trust has involved attending concerts in Frankfurt, Freiburg, Berlin, New York, the Ticino and in many places in the UK and Hungary.

As Chair also of the Cambridge Szeged Society (since 2005), Julia has arranged many concerts, including five choral visits by Cambridge choirs to Hungary, performing items from Seiber’s Missa Brevis through to the Nonsense Songs. The Mátyás Seiber Trust has also subsidised CD recordings and provided study/ travel grants to those doing research on Seiber’s work.

Links and sources

Visit the website of the Mátyás Seiber Trust

Works by Mátyás Seiber are available from the publisher Schott

Elsewhere in this resource

Michael Graubart interview

Alexander Goehr interview

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