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Tamas Ungvary (born 1936 in Kalocsa ) is a Hungarian-Swedish conductor, composer and music teacher. Ungvary studied piano, violin (with Jenö Plan and Endre Zarecky) and cello (with Josef Bonyhadi) at the Béla Bartók Conservatory and was a member of the Hungarian State Philharmonic from 1957 to 1967. He trained as a conductor with Dean Dixon and Albert Simon and from 1964 to 1969 with Gerhard Wimberger at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He conducted the Hungarian Youth Orchestra and moved to Sweden in 1969, where he continued to work as a conductor.

He has specialized in electroacoustic and computer music since the early 1970s and was active between 1972 and 1995 as composer in residence, studio assistant, editor, software manager and artistic director at Stiftelsen - Acoustic Music in Sweden (EMS). In 1985, together with choreographer Peter Rajka, he founded Kineto Auditory Communication Research (KACOR) at the Stockholm Dance Academy . From 1989 he taught at the Royal Technical University (KTH) in Stockholm. From 1991 to 2001 he led the course on computer music and new media at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna . As a composer, Ungvary was influenced by György Ligeti, Iannis Xenakis and Jan W. Morthenson. His works have been well received at the ISCM World Music Days. He received first prize at the NEWCOMP competition for computer music in Boston in 1987, and other awards in Bourges (France) and at Ars Electronica 1994 in Linz. From 1989 he was the first European board member of the International Computer Music Association (ICMA).


Ungvary's strives to create music capable of conjuring up an orchestral sound without using or imitating traditional musical instruments. Many of his pieces arise from the tension between statics and dynamics of the sound material. When Ungvary combines traditional instruments with computer sounds, he often attempts to use one as an addition to the other rather than a fusion. In addition, Ungvary tries to convey a feeling of freedom to performers through unconventional notation, but at the same time to force them to a very precisely defined textual, structural and musical style and expression. Ungvary's particular interest is exploring ways to solve the obvious communication problems between computers and humans and to develop means of interpretation that are already present in instrumental music. For this reason, he developed several of his own computer languages (compositional computer languages), used and constructed new input devices with which he now tries to incorporate into his compositional work.


  • Seul, 1972
  • Basic Barrier, 1973
  • Lonely Dream, 1974
  • Interaction No.2 for organ and tape, 1979
  • Ite, Missa Est, 1982
  • L'aube des flammes, 1984
  • Gipsy children's giant dance with Ili Fourier, 1986
  • GRATTIS med Epilog, 1994
  • Hågkomster (Recollection No 1), 1992-96

Related Content

Hommage á Tamás Ungváry @ UH Fest


Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare - Tamas Ungvari Music information center Austria - Tamas Ungvary Tamas Ungvary at Discogs Tamas Ungvary at Allmusic

Text partially adapted from the German Wikipedia.