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László Vidovszky

From Unearthing The Music

László Vidovszky. Photo taken from the Editio Musica Budapest website https://www.emb.hu/

László Vidovszky (1944) is an Hungarian composer and music teacher.

Biography

Between 1958 and 1962, he studied at the Vocational Music School in Szeged, and then at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music between 1962 and 1967, as a protégé of Ferenc Farkas. In 1970, thanks to an UNESCO scholarship, he was able to spend time in Paris, where he visited the courses of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in the French Radio, and the compositional lessons of Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire.

His early period was marked by an interest in experimental music. In 1970, he became one of the founders (along with Zoltán Jeney and László Sáry, among others) of the New Music Studio in Budapest. The studio soon became well known and acclaimed internationally, with more than 600 contemporary pieces being performed there between 1972 and 1990. Vidovszky being active there both as a performer and as a composer. His first joint composition with Jeney and Sáry, "Undisturbed", was performed in 1974 in Paris and was the cause of much debate in Hungarian music circles.

Between 1972 and 1984, he taught music theory at the Institute of Music Teacher School of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. Since 1984 he has been a teacher at the Janus Pannonius University of Sciences in Pécs, and became the dean of the Art Faculty in 1996–1999. Since 1999 he has also taught in the Liszt Ferenc University of Music. He is a committee member of the Artisjus since 1996, and a member of the Presidency of the Association of Hungarian Composers (1990–1993, and 1995–2004). He became the president of the Association of New Hungarian Music in 2004, and received the Kossuth Prize in 2010.

Style

Beyond chamber and orchestral music, Vidovsky wrote pieces for the prepared piano and the computer. His creations often included audiovisual elements and different musical constructions combined with scenic actions. However, these works of art are often quite brief yet complex, with monumental effects. Vidovszky used traditional music elements adjusted to match his personality.

In an interview, Vidovszky exposed many of his views on music. Among his other thoughts, he stated that every form of music is worthy of recognition and being experienced by an audience. He also notes that while critics generally focus on the concept behind music (and understandably so, as it is an important part of music), music itself is a much more complex and wide-ranging experience, and that knowing whether the music is conceptually "good" or "bad" only tells us a limited amount about its value. As he sums it up, talking about music is good but listening to it is much better. Expressing an opinion about music is the job of both the author and the audience, and the encounter (or clash) of these two views is what elevates music - without it, music would only be a sort of ceremony, not understood by respected by everyone.

In his first composition period, Vidovszky created in an experimental style (’Autoconcert’ – 1972; ’405 – for prepared piano and unspecified instrumental ensemble’ – 1972; ’C+A+G+E MUSIC No. 1’ – 1972; ’C+A+G+E MUSIC No. 1 – 1973’; ’Schroeder´s Death’ – 1975, etc.). Between 1990 and 1995 he wrote several works for MIDI piano (’ Mechanical Bride´s Dance’ – 1989; ’Etudes for MIDI Piano’ – 1990; ’Ady: The Black Piano’ – 1995 etc.). Beside his chamber music (’GAGA’ – 1976; ’Hommage à Dohnányi’ – 1977; ’Narcissus and Harpies’ – 1986; ’Soft Errors’ – 1989 etc.) and orchestral works (’Fragment’ – 1970; ’Music for Győr’ – 1971; ’March to the Procession of Flags’ – 1980; ’German Dances - for string orchestra’ – 1990 etc.) he also wrote an opera (’Narcissus and Echo’ – 1981), ballet (’Lear’ – 1988), live electronic music (’DECEMBER 27’ – 1978) as well as several film scores (’From the Diary of an Eccentric Man’ – 1972; ’Plasticine’ – 1977; ’Chalk Circle’ – 1978; ’Mozart and Salieri’ – 1979; ’ The Dog´s Night Song’ – 1983; ’The Red Countess’ – 1984; ’My Twentieth Century’ – 1989, etc.).

Awards

  • Lajos Kassák Award (1979)
  • Ferenc Erkel Prize (1983)
  • Bartók-Shepherd Prize (1992)
  • Worthy Artist (1996)
  • Serial Creative Award (2001)
  • Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (2004)
  • Kossuth Prize (2010)

Selected works

  • 1972 - Car Concert - Audiovisual Work ISWC T-007.017.749-9
  • 1972 - Double - for two prepared pianos
  • 1972 - 405 - for prepared piano and chamber ensemble ISWC T-007.142.116-3
  • 1974 - Undisturbed - joint work with Zoltán Jeney and László Sáry
  • 1975 - Hommage à Kurtág - joint work with Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Jeney, Zoltán Kocsis and László Sáry
  • 1975 - Schroeder's death - for piano and 2-3 assistants
  • 1980 - Sound-Color-Square - 127 painted whistles (with Ilona Keserü )
  • 1980 - Meeting (to the tragedy of Péter Nádas )
  • 1981 - Narcissus and Echo - opera in one act
  • 1983 - Romantic Readings - for orchestra
  • 1985 - Romantic Readings No. 2 - for orchestra
  • 1989 - Etudes for MIDI Piano I-IV. booklet
  • 1989 - German Dances - for string quartet
  • 1989 - Twelve Duos for Violin and Violin
  • 1989 - Soft Errors - for chamber ensemble
  • 1989 - Bridesmaid Dance Music - for MIDI Piano
  • 1990 - NaNe audio-video games for computers
  • 1992 - Music for the Hungarian pavilion of the Seville World's Fair (with Zoltán Jeney)
  • 1993 - Praeludium & Walzer - for two pianos
  • 1995 - Ady: The Black Piano - for MIDI Piano and Orchestra T-007.031.567-1
  • 1996 - Nine small Kurtág greeting choirs - for one or two pianos
  • 1997 - Black Quartet - for percussion instruments ISWC T-007.017.751-3
  • 1998 - Following Machaut I-III. - vocals and three optional instruments
  • 2000 - Zwölf Streichquartette - for string quartet
  • 2001 - I. Violin Radio Sonata
  • 2005 - The Death in my Viola - for viola and chamber ensemble
  • 2005 - Orchestra
  • 2007 - ASCH - for string six
  • 2007 - Doubles - for violin and cello
  • 2007 - Nine Kurtág greetings for choir orchestra
  • 2007 - ASCH
  • 2008 - II. violin radio sonata
  • 2011 - Reverb - for piano and string quartet
  • 2012 - Le piano et ses doubles - for piano and keyboard instruments
  • 2015 - Blue Waves - for violin, cello and piano

Discography

As a composer

  • László Vidovszky: Etudes for MIDI Piano. BMC Records, BMC CD 014
  • László Vidovszky: Zwölf Streichquartette; Twelve will give. BMC Records, BMC CD 075
  • Versus No. 2. HCD 31785
  • Schroeder's death. Hungaroton, SLPX 12063; Edition Zeitklang 4032824000023
  • Dual. Hungaroton, SLPX 12284
  • St. Nicholas toys. Hungaroton, HCD 12887-88
  • Contemporary Hungarian music for bassoon and piano. Hungaroton, HCD 31725
  • Solos - XX. for solo flute of 19th century Hungarian compositions. Hungaroton, HCD 31785
  • Hungarian soundscapes II. HEAR Studio-Hung. Rad., HEAR 104
  • Vld Ildikó : Threads. BMC Records, BMC CD046
  • Trio Lignum: Offertorium. BMC Records, BMC CD 090
  • Music Colors - Hungarian Contemporary Music (1989–2004). BMC HMIC, BMC PCD 015
  • Joint works of contemporary Hungarian authors of the 70s. BMC Records, BMC CD 116

As a Contributor

  • Today's Hungarian dulcimer works. Hungaroton, SLPX 11899
  • Péter Eötvös: Cricket Music; Wind sequences. Hungaroton, SLPX 12602
  • Zoltán Jeney: Alef - Hommage á Schönberg; Apollo; Cantos para todos; 12 dal. Hungaroton, HCD 31653
  • László Sáry: The Word of Time; The repeating five; etc Hungaroton, HCD 31643
  • John Cage: Thirty pieces for five bands; Music for piano. Hungaroton, HCD 12893
  • Psy: The magic of the dulcimer. Hungaroton, HCD 32015
  • László Sáry: Percussion compositions. Hungaroton, HCD 32179

References