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Lynn M. Hooker
Indiana University Department of Central Eurasian Studies

Last modified: Monday, February 28, 2011

Hungarian music concert to memorialize longtime IU Professor Denis Sinor (1916-2011)

Event to feature performances by distinguished current, former Jacobs School of Music faculty and works by Liszt, Popper

WHAT: Denis Sinor memorial concert
WHEN: Thursday, March 3, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Auer Hall

Feb. 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A free concert of Hungarian works will take place Thursday, March 3, to memorialize Indiana University Professor Emeritus of Central Eurasian Studies Denis Sinor.

The event will feature performances by distinguished current and former Jacobs School of Music faculty, including pianist Emile Naoumoff, associate professor, and Charles Webb, former dean of the Jacobs School. The event is sponsored by IU's Department of Central Eurasian Studies and the Hungarian Cultural Association.

Sinor was a proud Hungarian and music lover in addition to being a distinguished scholar. His late wife, Jean Sinor, was professor of music education at the IU School of Music at the time of her death in 1999.

Sinor's full obituary can be found online. A recent profile of Sinor, describing his personal and scholarly adventures, can be found on the website of Bloom magazine.

Memorial contributions may be made payable to the IU Foundation and sent to the "Jean and Denis Sinor Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Central Eurasian Studies Fund," 1011 E. Third St., Bloomington, Ind. 47405.

Denis Sinor

A Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, Denis Sinor was born in Hungary on April 17, 1916 and educated in Hungary, Switzerland, and France. Between 1939 and 1948, he held various teaching and research assignments in France. During WWII, he rendered modest services to the French Resistance; he joined the Free French Forces and was demobilized in November 1945.

From 1948 to 1962, he was on the faculty of Oriental Studies at Cambridge University, U.K. He moved to IU in 1962, where he created the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies (now Department of Central Eurasian Studies), of which he was chair from 1963 to 1981. In 1967 he founded the Asian Studies Research Institute, later named Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, which he directed until 1981, and which was renamed in 2006 The Denis Sinor Institute for Inner Asian Studies. From 1963 to 1988 he was Director of the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the only one of its kind in the country.

A former president of the American Oriental Society, Sinor was active in various national and international scholarly societies in which he held positions of high international importance.

He received two Guggenheim Fellowships, as well as grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the ACLS, NEH and IREX. He was a corresponding member of the French Académie des Inscriptions et belles-Lettres, an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Academia Europaea. Honors received include a doctorate honoris causa of the University of Szeged (1971), and Honorary Memberships of the Société Asiatique (Paris) and the Societas Uralo-Altaica (Hamburg). He was awarded the Arminius Vambery Medal (1983), the Gold Medal of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (1982, 1996), the Order of the Star of Hungary (1986), the Silver Avicenna Medal of UNESCO (1998), the Medal of Honor of the American Oriental Society (1999) and the Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medaillon of Indian University. In his honor, The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain created the Denis Sinor Medal for Inner Asian Studies.