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László Sáry

From Unearthing The Music

László Sáry. Photo by Gáspár Stekovics

László Sáry (1940) is an Hungarian pianist, composer and music teacher. Between 1958 and 1961, he studied composition with Géza Vönöczky in Győr. Then he became a pupil of Endre Szervánszky at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. In 1970, he also took part in the foundation of the New Music Studio, along with Zoltán Jeney and László Vidovszky and a few others. In 1972, he studied at Darmstadt with Christian Wolff who oriented him towards non-traditional compositional techniques and had a great impact on his work, leading him to seek new musical trends beyond traditional European practices. His first piece in this newly discovered style was entitled ’Sounds’ (1972).

From the middle of the 1970s onwards he began using the ’Sáry Method,’ a special educational music practice reportedly able to improve musical thinking and compositional skills through specific exercises and musical games. Since then, this educational method has been applied at both the lower and higher education levels (music schools and the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest).

Since the 1980s he regularly writes music pieces for theaters. He is also the music director of the Katona József Theatre since 1990. From 1994 onwards he participates at Lord Yehudi Menuhin’s MUS-E (’Source of the Music, Balance and Tolerance’), a project for underprivileged children based on the ’Kodály method’ and creative arts. In 1996, he was in Tokyo, thanks to a scholarship granted by the Japanese Foundation, where he investigated traditional Japanese theater, dance, and music. He won the 3rd prize in the 7th International Electroacustical Competition (IREN) in 1998 for his ’Locomotive Symphony’ (1997) in 1998. In 1999, he became a member of the Széchenyi Literal and Art Academy. He wrote more than 80 compositions, including two ballets (’Imago Mundi’ – 1996; ’Labirynth’ – 2008), operas (’Adorjáns and Jenős’ – 1994; ’Negros’ – 2004; Great Sound in the Running Around - Seriocomic Opera in 12 Pictures, with Pre- and Postlude – 2004, etc.), film scores (’Inter Images’ – 1990; ’Approaches to a Found Object’ – 1991, etc.), several chamber music and works for solo instruments.

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