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Gyula Bruno Fekete
Cruise Ship Injury Ends Legendary Musician Career

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Antoinette - June 3, 2014

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Gyula Bruno Fekete
Cruise Ship Injury Ends Legendary Musician Career

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Antoinette - June 3, 2014

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On June 3, 2014 legendary saxophonist from Hungary Gyula Bruno (Maxi) Fekete, 62, had been booked to perform aboard Uniworld River Cruises SS Antoinette for a seven-day cruise sailing on the Rhine River in Boppard, Germany. It was Day 5 of the cruise for the professional musician who had been performing with his girlfriend-life partner and fellow musician Erika Sarkozi.

What happened on June 3, 2014, depends on who is telling the story. Either Fekete had a stroke, fell, hitting his head or he tripped over a bag on the stair, fell, hit his head causing a stroke, or he fell over the bag, hitting his head and suffered a head injury. No matter who tells the story, they all blame the captain of the SS Antoinette for not responding quickly to Erika Sarkozi's plea to call an ambulance to rush Gyula Fekete from the SS Antoinette to the hospital for treatment. Due to the small size of SS Antoinette and close proximity to hospitals all along the voyage, the cruise ship does not have an infirmary.

A lawyer working a lawsuit filed by Fekete's brother, then holds Uniworld River Cruises responsible, for ultimately sending Fekete to a hospital which the lawsuit says was not properly trained to treat Gyula Fekete effectively. The lawsuit was filed under the Jones Act, claiming Fekete worked aboard the SS Antoinette doing crew member chores and duties when he was not entertaining.

After convincing the captain that Fekete was not drunk as accused, but was suffering a severe illness, an ambulance finally arrived, taking Fekete to the hospital. However, according to the lawsuit, later that day the hospital discharged Fekete without an extensive examination, leaving the seriousness of Fekete's condition undiagnosed.

Back aboard the SS Antoinette, Gyula Fekete's condition worsened and once again, allegedly, Erika Sarkozi. requested an ambulance, which was denied. She assisted Fekete across the street to a bar where they used a telephone to call an ambulance. Fekete fell into a coma due to a brain hemorrhage.

The couple was ready to begin a new career in Canada, where Fekete has a huge following in the Hungarian community. The couple wanted to work together writing songs for new young talent in Canada. At minimum, Fekete's health condition with both speech and mobility issues has delayed their plans career plan in Canada. At age 63 now, the recovery to being able to sing and play the saxophone again is not likely, with the unfortunate loss of an incredible talent.

Gyula Bruno (Maxi) Fekete had played Saxophone for Hungaria, which then became Dolly Roll on June 26, 1983 . Dolly Roll's hit song "Holiday" went golden with 100,000 copies in three months and then went platinum with 250,000 in another two months.

In 16 years the group collected 15 gold, 3 platinum, 1 diamond discs, Standard Prize, Emerton Prize, Huszka Prize, First place on video competition (The heart is thumping) and they sold 3 million copies of their 28 albums. In 1995, Hungaria performed a nostalgia concert with an attendance of 90 000 people. Since they have been performing at many venues around the world, as far away as Australia, including on cruise ships.

Erika Sarkozi said, " I think it was just a misunderstanding". Given the nature of cruises in Europe and many other parts of the world, where many people interact while speaking a wide range of languages, it is a possibility she is right. After all, the SS Antoinette was sailing in Germany when the incident took place and where he was taken to the hospital. Both Fekete and Sarkozi are Hungarian. The Uniworld River Cruises website says their cruise ships have English-speaking onboard staff.

Erika Sarkozi statements about the incident has not stopped Fekete's brother from filing a $75,000 lawsuit against the cruise line, claiming they failed to properly handle the incident. Though mostly known as a European cruise line, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1976.

We are the first cruise industry website in the United States to post this important, career ending, news story involving a talented musician, who has had a 30-year history of successful contribution to the music industry.

Track the S.S. Antoinette cruise ship, which was built in 2011, measuring 443 feet-long with an all suite deck plan.