György Orbán turns 75

György Orbán turns 75

Composer György Orbán celebrates his 75th birthday.

After studies in Transylvania and significant folk music research, he settled in Hungary in 1979. He was editor of Editio Musica Budapest for a decade, and then taught composition at the Academy of Music until his retirement.

In his early years he was influenced by avantgarde trends, then his art turned towards neoromanticism. His style incorporates a characteristic mix of classical, modern, cinematic, and jazz elements. In addition, he claims that he ''loves splashing about in tonality'', which makes his works accessible to the wider public. He is an important vocal composer, both in field of choral works and songs, who mingles elements of Hungarian tradition inspired by folk music with grotesque, humorous, even satirical overtones. He often evokes the ideals of earlier musical periods in terms of sound and form. The most important characteristics of his music are harmonious formal proportions in the classical sense.

UMP Editio Musica Budapest has just published Orbán’s ‘Razumovsky Trilogy,’ three series of character pieces for string orchestra. Count Razumovsky, the patron of Beethoven and dedicatee of massive string quartets of the Viennese master, is only a pretext for Orbán to pay his respect to the various genres of serious and lighter chamber music of the 19th century. Music critic Szabolcs Molnár wrote about these cycles: “Orbán’s music has a refined relationship – he is ambiguously flirting – with nostalgia. He doesn’t beautify memories, he doesn’t even try to recall compulsively, he simply guesses the object of remembrance. For Orbán, more interesting than real life events are 'could have been' life events, he reads and colors the pages of history as fiction, populates the world of his artistic imagination with heroes named after real people, and then presents them in dreamy stories. This subjective mythology stands very close to Schumann’s carnival whirl.”

Listen to Razumovsky Trilogy!

Photo: Andrea Felvégi