At first strongly influenced by the music of Zoltán Kodály, Decsényi later followed newer directions; his music often results from the stimulus of other art forms. His structures are clearly defined, sometimes representing novel versions of classical moulds. Although his output extends to choral works, film scores, electro-acoustic and incidental music, his most characteristic writing can be found in his chamber pieces. His attachment to chamber genres has helped in refining his fundamental compositional technique. During the 1990s he realized a number of electro-acoustic works in the soundscape and Sonic Art vein.


János Decsényi was born in Budapest, on 24 March, 1927. He was a pupil of Rezső Sugár at the Budapest Conservatory and of Endre Szervánszky at the Budapest Academy of Music, from which he graduated in 1957. By that time his works had already met with success at the Warsaw World Youth Festival (1955) and at the Vercelli Composers’ Competition (1956). From 1951 to 1994 Decsényi worked in the music section of Hungarian radio first as music producer and later as the head of the section; he was also head of the electronic music studio there from 1974. Until 2007, he remained script editor of Radio Bartók. He was representing Hungarian radio for 25 years in the jury of the Bourges competition for composers.

His prizes and awards

Erkel Prize (1975); Award of the Critics (1981, 1991); Artist of Merit (1986); Bartók-Pásztory Award (1999); Outstanding Artist (2009); Artisjus Prize (2012).