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Iris Szeghy, award-winning Slovak composer (born March 5, 1956), studied composition with Jozef Podprocký and piano with Marta Reiterová from 1971-1976 at the Music Conservatory in Košice. She pursued graduate study in composition at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava (VŠMU) with Andrej Očenáš. She then taught music theory for four years at the Art School L’ŠU in Bratislava before continuing postgraduate studies in composition at the VŠMU. Since 1990, she has been a free-lance composer.


Szeghy strives for a synthesis of the structural and expressive elements of classical and contemporary music. Her choral and solo vocal works exhibit a wide range of expression. The inclusion of aleatoric elements contributes to the expressive quality of her work, though it is not a basic constructive principle. Each of her works may be compared to a perfectly chiseled statue, a lively micro-organism, expressive in its integrity and complexity.


Iris Szeghy has earned the following awards:

  • Generation ’84  2nd prize for “Vyznania” (“Professions”), a song cycle for SSA treble choir
  • Generation ’85  1st prize for String quartet, “Mater Dolorosa”
  • Generation ’88  1st prize for the guitar solo “Suite into the Pocket”
  • Jihlava ’89  3rd prize for “Psalm of a Starving Man” for mixed choir.

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