István Márta

From Unearthing The Music

István Márta

István Márta (1952) is a Hungarian composer and harpsichordist. He graduated from the composer college of the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy. He played in several amateur and professional theaters (Brobo Group, 25th Theater, Thália Theater). During his studies, he was very influenced by experimental music (for example John Cage, etc.). He collected Csángó folk songs in Moldova in the 1970–1980s, and organized happenings, performances, contemporary music festivals. Meanwhile, he also composed music and several concerts were organized based on his compositions. He was a member of the 180 Group, and – as a harpsichordist – a member of the historical music group Mandel Quartet. He directed in the Arany János Theater, in the National Theater of Pécs, in the Castle Theater and in the New Theater. Márta composed theatrical and film scores, string quartets, ballet music, a musical and a chamber opera. In 1984 he bought a house in Kapolcs, a village in Veszprém County. In 1989 he created the Art Days festival in Kapolcs, which developed into Valley of the Arts, Hungary’s biggest multicultural festival in 1996.

István Márta taught history of music and music analysis of the 20th century at the jazz college of the Bartók Béla Art Music Vocational School. He was the music leader of the Petőfi Theater of Veszprém, the National Theater, and the New Theater. He was the director of the New Theater (1998–2012), the manager of the Zsolnay Inheritance Operator Nonprofit LLC (2012–2015), and he was the mayoral senior cultural advisor at Pécs (2015–2017). Since 2002, he is the president of the Hungarian Festival Association. In 2016 he created the Bőköz-Ormánság Festival. Since 2016, he is a member of the advisory board of the College of Cultural Festivals of the National Cultural Fund. In 2017 he created the Kapolcska Program, a talent and development camp and family festival. Since 2018 he is a member of the representative body of the Kapolcs municipality.


  • Lajos Kőszegi: In the last moment. A night at composer István Mártha. In: Diary [Napló], 30 November 1987. 5.;
  • József Román: Postmodern and Public Clarity. A conversation with István Márta. In: Hungarian Gazette [Magyar Hírlap], 30 April 1994. V.;