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Zsolt Durkó (Composer)

Born: April 10, 1934 - Szeged, Hungary
Died: April 2, 1997

The prominent Hungarian composer, Zsolt Durkó, was a student of Farkas at the Budapest Academy of Music (1955-1960) and of Petrassi at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1961-1963).

After finishing his studies, Zsolt Durkó returned to Hungary to take a leading part in the modernist advance. After teaching at the Budapest Academy of Music (1971-1977), he was active with the Hungarian Radio (from 1982).

Zsolt Durkóís musical language is at the same time both Western European and Consciously Hungarian in flavour, his varied output reveals an assured craftsmanship and imaginative use of traditional forms in a contemporary style, his emotional expression marked by noble reserve.. This personal musical vernacular also finds its place in the greater scheme of contemporary music and is manifested in a remarkably rich oeuvre. His works range from opera (Moses, 1977) through orchestral, vocal and chamber music to piano pieces.

Zsolt Durkó became internationally known as the leading Hungarian composer of his generation. By the late 1960ís he had become in foreign countries the most frequently performed contemporary Hungarian composer. His chamber, symphonic and vocal compositions have acquired international recognition. Initially they were awarded with prizes in Rome, Montreal, Budapest and Paris. In due course he won in 1978 the Kossuth Prize, and in 1985 and 1997 he won the Bartók-Pasztory Award. He was made a Merited Artist in 1983 and an Outstanding Artist in 1987 by the Hungarian government. In 1997 he received also the László Lajtha Award. Durkóís compositions are performed internationally, from London to Australia, from home music festivals to the Salzburg Festival.

Works

Opera:
Mózes (1972-1977; Budapest, May 15, 1977)

Orchestral:
Episodi sui tema B-A-C-H (1962-1963)
Organismi for Violin & Orchestra (1964)
Una rapsodia ungherese for 2 Clarinets & Orchestra (1964-1965)
Cantilene for Piano & Orchestra (1968)
Concerto for Orchestra (1970)
Ballad for Youth Orchestra (1970)
Fantázia es utójáték (Fantasy and Postlude) for Youth Orchestra (1979)
Quattro dialoghi
for 2 Percussion Soloists & Orchestra (1979)
Refrains for Violin & Chamber Orchestra (1979)
Piano Concerto (1980)
Ornamenti 1 (1984) and 2 (1985)
Violin Concerto (1992-1993)

Chamber Ensemble:
Colloides for Flute & Chamber Ensemble (1969)
Iconography No.2 for Horn & Chamber Ensemble (1971)
Chamber Music for 2 Pianos & 11 Strings (1972-1973)
Turner Illustrations for Violin & 14 Instruments (1976)
Impromptus for Flute & Chamber Ensemble (1983)
Téli zene (Winter Music) for Horn & Chamber Ensemble (1984)

Chamber:
11 pezzi per quartetto d'archi (962)
Improvvisazioni for Wind Quintet (1965)
2 string quartets (1966, 1969)
Symbols for Horn & Piano (1968-1969)
Quartetto d'ottoni (1970)
Iconography No.1 for 2 Bass Viols or Cellos & Harpsichord (1971)
Fire Music for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, & String Trio (1971)
Serenata for 4 Harps (1973)
Varianti for Viola & Piano (1974)
8 Duos for 2 Horns (1977)
5 Pieces for Tuba & Piano (1978)
Movements for Tuba & Piano (1980)
3 Essays for Clarinet & Piano (1983)
Sinfonietta for 10 Brass Instruments (1983)
Clair-obscure for Organ & Trumpet (1984)
Sextet for 5 Clarinets & Piano (1987)
Woodwind Octet (1988)
Also piano pieces and organ music

Vocal:
Fioriture for Chamber Chorus & Orchestra (1966)
Altamira for Chamber Chorus & Orchestra (1967-1968)
Halotti beszed (Burial Prayer), oratorio for Tenor, Baritone, Chorus, & Orchestra (1967-1972)
Hat tanulmány (6 Studies) for Chorus & Piano (1970-1972)
Cantata No.1 for Baritone, Chorus, & Orchestra (1971) and No.2 for Chorus & Orchestra (1972)
Hét dallamrajz for Chorus & Piano (1972)
Széchenyi Oratorio for Baritone, Chorus, & Orchestra (1981-1982)
Pillanatképek a Kalevalábol for Chorus (1986)
Ilmarinen for Chorus (1986)
3 English Verseses for Mezzo-soprano & 12 Instruments (1991)


Source: Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Answers.com Website (from Oxford Grove Music Encyclopedia); Bits & pieces from other sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2011)

Zsolt Durkó: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Zsolt Dukó (Answers.com)

 

Bibliography

E. Olsvay: "A Conversation with Zsolt Durkó," Hungarian Music Quarterly, III/3-4 (1992).

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Last update: żAugust 26, 2011 ż16:12:29