Artist database

This is the Artist Database of BMC, which includes information about composers, musicians, orchestras, choirs and groups that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary, as well as information about releases recorded with them.

Viski János


Place of Birth
Date of Birth

10 June 1906 Kolozsvár (today Cluj - Romania) – 16 January 1961 Budapest

He started his music career learning to play the violin as pupil of Gyula Antal, Gábor Sipos and Gusztáv Kolár. From the age of nineteen he gradually became interested in composing. In 1927 he was accepted to the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he graduated in the composing class of Zoltán Kodály in 1932. His first compositions were presented by the Artisans’ Community Circle of Kolozsvár. Parallel to his music studies he visited the philosophy and art history lectures of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Sciences.

After graduating at the Music Academy he had settled down in Szilágyzovány (Transsylvania) for a couple of years, where his first – later successful – great works were born. In 1934-1935 he composed his orchestral piece „Symphonic Suite” that was first presented by the Hungarian Radio in 1937, conducted by Viktor Vaszy. This suite was also presented by the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra in Budapest with Willem Mengelberg, conductor of Concertgebouw. Mengelberg presented this work several other times at his concerts in Europe – assuring international admission to the composer. The success of the Symphonic Suite inspired Viski to compose one of his most renowned works, the symphonic poem „Enigma” in 1939. For this composition he was awarded with the Greguss Memorial Plaque by the Kisfaludy Society in 1941.

In 1940 the National Music School adjured him to be the secretary general and orchestration teacher of the institute. One year later he was entrusted with the management of the Conservatory of Kolozsvár (Cluj). From 1942 to 1961 he had taught composing at the Music Academy. In 1947 he composed his three-movement Violin Concerto that was presented the same year with huge success.

His works were presented in many European cities like Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Rotterdam, Zurich, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Luxembourg, Prague, Warsaw, Trieste, Beograd, Bucharest and Ankara, but in Portland and Toronto, too. His major works are: Symphonic Suite (1937), Two Hungarian Dances (1938), Enigma (1939), Violin Concerto (1947), Piano Concerto (1953), Cello Concerto (1955), The Deer of Irisóra (1958).

János Viski was awarded with the Erkel Prize (1954), the title Merited Artist (1955) and the Kossuth Prize (1956).
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
2009 Duo Fresco: Hungarian-Armenian Piano Music Budaörs Armenian Minority Self-Government BR 0412
Title Type Year
"Woe to That Tree" Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1932
"My Brother, So Be Your Heart" Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1931
21 Vocal Fugues !to be determined 1931
The Dying Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1945
Ave Maria Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 0
Cello Concerto Concerto 1955
Enigma Symphony orchestra 1939
Obsecration Male choir 1937
Violin Concerto Concerto 1947
Hosanna Mixed choir 1932
44 Little Piano Pieces by Nine Composers Instrumental solo 0
Two Hungarian Dances Symphony orchestra 1938
Palotas and Friss Symphony orchestra 1938
Rákóczi March Male choir 1938
Symphonische Suite / Symphonic Suite Symphony orchestra 1935
Flower and Butterfly Male choir 1937
String Trio Chamber Music 1930
Piano Concerto Concerto 1953
Autumn Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1928