Costa Concordia Violinist Died While Returning for Instrument

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A Hungarian violinist who played in a trio aboard the ill-fated Costa Concordia was the first victim of the crash to be identified Wednesday.

Sándor Fehér, 38, was working as a musician on the ship in a combo called the Bianco Trio. In the chaos of the capsizing on Friday, he had helped two distraught children put on their life jackets before returning to his cabin to retrieve his violin, according to witnesses. He had wanted to put the instrument in a safe place.

Jozsef Balogh, a pianist on the ship, told the Hungarian newspaper Blikk that Fehér was last seen on deck, wearing his life jacket and en route to the lifeboat area.

The violinist's body, however, was found inside the wreck, and identified by his mother, the Hungarian government said.

Fehér is among 11 people confirmed dead so far in the accident, which occurred when the ship carrying 4,200 passengers collided with a reef Friday and turned on its side.

In a Facebook group created looking for sightings of the missing, Fehér’s brother Istvan Fehér wrote, “I can only say thank you to everyone. He really was a good man... Last concert does not end.”

In a video posted last month, Fehér is seen performing Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen and is interviewed by someone off-camera in a kind of online video resume. He explains that he took up the violin at age six, following after his grandfather and father, who were both violinists. He studied at the Franz Liszt Conservatory of Music in Budapest and went on to explore a passion for teaching.

He goes on to explain that he developed a new teaching method that involved using children's rhymes so that students could learn a natural and comfortable way to hold the violin and bow. “I would like teach in other countries out of Europe and use this amazing new system for the next generation of violin players,” he said.