One of the leading personalities of the experimental art movement that evolved in Hungary in the 1970s and 80s. In his early compositions, as elements of form, melody, rhythm and the tone system, he made frequent use of non-musical basic materials such as text quotations, chess match moves, solitaire game moves, telex text rhythms and other systems. From the 1980s onwards he began once again to employ counterpoint methods reminiscent of the Baroque and pre-Baroque periods, and in addition there appeared in his music an archaic style of tone production that in its declamation and melody formation drew on both Gregorian traditions and those of Hungarian folk music. Although in a technical sense all his works pass on and sum up the basic principles developed in the previous decades, today in his art the emotional freedom and sensitive directness that in his youthful works were hidden behind severe constructions now come across openly.
1943 Born in Szolnok, Hungary
1961 -1968 Composition studies with Ferenc Farkas at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, postgraduate studies with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome
1968 Premiere of Soliloquium No.1 for flute at Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht
1970 Foundation of the New Music Studio Budapest, in collaboration with Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kocsis, László Sáry, Albert Simon and László Vidovszky
1984 Tour in Sweden: 30 of his works performed in nine concerts, five of them as world premieres
1985 A portrait concert is given at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York
Twelve Songs performed at the ISCM Festival in Amsterdam
Since 1986 Professor at the Liszt Academy of Music, Department of Composition, from 1995 as Head of Department
1988 and 2006 Bartók-Pásztory Award
1993 Fellow of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts (founded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
1996 – 1999 Vice-President of the ISCM
1998 Premiere of Contrafactum, composed for 125th anniversary celebration of Pest-Buda-Óbuda unification
2001 Awarded the Kossuth Prize by the Hungarian state
2005 First complete performance of Funeral Rite by the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by Zoltán Kocsis, in Budapest
Full works list coming soon – in the meantime please check the Editio Musica Budapest website for details.