Informatie over Czinka Panna


Panna Czinka (1711-1772)

Panna, the daughter of a musician at the court of a nobleman by the name of Lanyi, was born in Sajogomor/Gemer. Barna Mihaly, her grandfather and a composer, was credited with the much loved Rakoczi Song [celebrating the early 18th century Hungarian freedom fighter Prince Francis Rakoczi]. He and two of her uncles died with Rakoczi in exile in Turkey. When Panna was a little girl, she was lifted onto tables to play her violin. She married a cello player and blacksmith when she was 15 and often helped out in the forge. Around that time, she set up her own orchestra and conducted it herself, attired in a man's uniform like the other musicians. Not only was Panna a magical violinist with a remarkable beauty, she was also a modest person with a true passion for music. It was these qualities, together with a simplicity in all her dealings, that won her adulation and she became a symbol of 18th century Austria-Hungary (but her swarthy skin and jet black hair also drew racist remarks). Her bow, it was said, spanned the country from Poland to the Adriatic, and that she "drew sparks from it, making the very stones shiver" with her vigorous playing. The Baron of Gemer gave her a house by the River Szabajo which she used only in the winter months. During the fine summers, she roamed the countryside, playing both for the nobility and with the bands of musicians who travelled with their brown tents from village to village. Her songs are still played, especially one that includes the lines: "Maybug, yellow maybug, I care not how well I live: just say when I can belong to my love". Panna died at 60 and, at her request, was buried in uniform with her violin at a funeral that was a national occasion. Many poems, in both Hungarian and Latin, were written in her honour. A century after her death, the Emperor, Archduke Joseph of Habsburg dedicated an ode to her in German. Zoltan Kodaly also chose Panna as the subject of one of his operas.