The Hungarian-English pianist and composer, Thomas Rajna, studied composition and piano at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (1944-1947), where his teachers were Kodaly, Veress, and Weiner. In 1947 he went to London on a scholarship to study with Howells and others at the Royal College of Music, graduating in 1952.
Thomas Rajna taught at the Guildhall School of Music from 1963 to 1967, and the University of Surrey from 1967 to 1970. He then emigrated to South Africa and settled in Cape Town with his family, and in 1970 was appointed a lecturer in piano at the University of Cape Town. He has two sons, David and Daniel and two daughters, Jessica and Trilby. He retired as an Associate Professor from the UCT College of Music in 1993.
As a pianist, Thomas Rajna excels in performances of 20th-century music. His own works assume a classical mold, with distinctly modern contents in harmony and counterpoint.
Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra (1948-1950)
Suite for Strings (1952-1954)
2 piano concertos: No. 1 (1960-1962; London, March 18, 1966) and No. 2 (1984)
Movements for Strings (1962)
Cantilenas & Interludes (London, February 7, 1968)
Harp Concerto (1990)
Dialogues for Clarinet and Piano (1947)
String Quartet (1948)
Music for Cello and Piano (1950)
Music for Violin and Piano (1956-1957)
Serenade for 10 Winds, Percussion, Harpsichord, and Piano (1958)
2 Hebrew Prayers for Chorus (1972-1973)
4 Traditional African Lyrics for Voice and Piano (1976)