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.

Balassa Sándor


Place of Birth
Date of Birth

20 January 1935 Budapest - 14 May 2021

Composer, professor emeritus of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music.

After spending the childhood years in the countryside, he started his music career in Budapest. First he visited the conductor pre-department of the Béla Bartók Conservatory and then studied composing at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy as pupil of Endre Szervánszky. He graduated in 1965.

He joined the staff of the Hungarian Radio and as music director he worked there at the music department until 1980. From 1981 he’s started teaching instrumentation at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, first as assistant professor, later as lecturer, and from 1993 until his retirement in 1996 as university professor. In 1996 he founded the non-profit organization ‘Foundation of the Music Academy’, which aimed to support the Music Academy.

As entrant he was requested to compose a number of orchestral works, like the Chant of Glarus (op. 29) for the Kossevitzky Music Foundation Washington, the Calls and Cries (op. 33) for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Day-dreamer´s Diary (op. 35) for the Elisabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation Washington, the Three Fantasies (op. 36) for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Manchester. In 1972 his oratorio, the Requiem for Lajos Kassák (op. 15) came in first place at the Paris Tribune, at the annual introduction of the world’s radio companies.

His composing style has gradually changed from the late ’70s, when his music broke up with the atonality and opened up to new tonalities and possible intonations. He was willing to continue the European music tradition and instead of different composing technologies and ideologies he’s rather begun to focus on the beauty of music and expressivity of feelings. Reservation and renewal of the Hungarian national music culture have also become a significant part of his activity.

His most famous operas are: The Man Outside, The Third Planet, Karl and Anna, Erderschütterung. Some of his orchestral works: Fairy Ilona, Prince Csaba, Sons of the Sun, Valley of the Huns, Parcel no. 301, Flowers of October, Hungarian Coronation Music, Dances of Mucsa, Four Portraits, Double Concerto, Trumpet concerto, Overture and scenes, Concerto of Szeged, Concerto of Pécs, Travels in Bihar, Civis Town, Laudation of chivalrous virtues, Trianon.

Besides he wrote a number of songs, cantatas, choruses, instrumental solos and also chamber music for various instruments.

Sándor Balassa was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, Department of Music since 2011.

Prizes, awards:
1972 UNESCO International Composers’ Tribune, Paris - 1st prize
1972 Erkel Prize
1978 Merited Artist
1983 Kossuth Prize
1988 Bartók-Pásztory Prize
1989 Excellent Artist
1999 Bartók-Pásztory Prize
2012 Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
1970 Mihály András, Maros Rudolf, Székely Endre, Láng István, Balassa Sándor, Lendvay Kamilló művei Hungaroton LPX 11494 LP
1972 Balassa Sándor: Requiem Kassák Lajosért, Op.15; Legenda Op.15; Cantata Y, Op.21
(Balassa, Sándor: Requiem for Lajos Kassák, Op.15; Legend Op.15; Cantata Y, Op.21)
Hungaroton SLPX 11681 Own
1976 Balassa Sándor: Iris, Op.22; Lupercalia Op.24; Xenia, Op.20; Tabulae, Op.25 Hungaroton SLPX 11732 Own
1980 Balassa Sándor: Az ajtón kívül, op. 27
(Balassa, Sándor: The Man Outside, op. 27)
Hungaroton SLPX 12052-53 Own
2 LPs
1981 Balassa Sándor: Glarusi ének; Az örök ifjúság szigete; Hajak; Motetta
(Balassa, Sándor: Chant of Glarus; The Island of Everlasting Youth; Tresses; Motet)
Hungaroton SLPX 12223 Own
1985 Balassa Sándor: Hívások és kiáltások Op.33/ Az utolsó pásztor Op.30/ Rézfúvós kvintett Op.31/ Kvartett ütőhangszerekre Op.18
(Sándor Balassa: Calls and Cries Op.33/ The Last Shepherd Op.30/ Brass Quintet Op.31/ )
Hungaroton SLPX 12557 Own
1987 Balassa Sándor: Egy álmodozó naplója Op. 35; Három zenekari fantázia Op. 36
(Balassa, Sándor: A Day-Dreamer's Diary Op. 35; Three Fantasias for Orchestra Op. 36)
Hungaroton SLPX 12942 Own
1987 Flowers, Chants, Hymn, Plays and Games for Cimbalom Hungaroton SLPX 12755 LP
1990 Balassa Sándor: A harmadik bolygó
(Balassa, Sándor: The Third Planet)
Hungaroton SLPX 31186 Own
2000 Arany felhők - Kortárs magyar szerzők dalai
(Golden Clouds - Hungarian Contemporary Songs)
Hungaroton HCD 32017
2003 Balassa Sándor: Karl és Anna
(Balassa Sándor: Karl and Anna)
Hungaroton HCD 32162 Own
2003 Balassa Sándor: Pécsi Concerto Op. 61; Négy arckép Op. 56; 301-es parcella Op. 58
(Balassa, Sándor: Pécs Concerto Op. 61; Four Portraits for Orchestra Op. 56; Parcel No. 301 Op. 58)
Hungaroton HCD 32161 Own
2004 Balassa Sándor: Hunok völgye op. 69; Csaba királyfi Op.46; Mucsai táncok Op.50
(Balassa, Sándor: Valley of the Huns Op. 69; Prince Csaba Op. 46; Dances of Mucsa Op. 50)
Hungaroton HCD 32212 Own
2008 Kiss Gy. László: Transfiguratio Hungaroton HCD 32579
2019 Sándor Balassa: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1 Naxos GP803 Own
Complete Edition / World premiere recordings
2019 Sándor Balassa: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 2 Naxos GP804 Own
Complete Edition / World premiere recordings
2020 Balassa, Sándor: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 Grand Piano GP805 Own
Complete edition / World Première Recording
Title Type Year
"Another Bouquet", Op. 122 Chamber Music 2010
2 Pieces for Piano, Op. 137 Instrumental solo 2014
Parcel No. 301, Op. 58 Symphony orchestra 1997
The Gate of Light, Op. 73/b Female choir 2002
Speak to the Stork, Op. 82 Mixed choir 2003
The third planet, Op. 39 Opera 1987
Sons of the Sun, Op. 54 Symphony orchestra 1995
Secrets of the Heart, Op. 75 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 2002
The Tarn, Op. 118 Mixed choir 2010
Adagio, Op. 128 Chamber Music 2012
Sayaka Ni Okuru Album No Page Piano Kyokushu, Op. 140 / Pages from an Album for Sayaka for Piano, Op. 140 Instrumental solo 2013
Antinomy, Op. 14 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1968
Golden Age, Op. 4 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 0
Draussen vor der Tür, Op. 27 / The Man Outside, Op. 27 Opera 1976
The last shepherd, Op. 30 Instrumental solo 1978
Chant of Orphans, Op. 55 Mixed choir 1996
The Island of Everlasting Youth, Op. 32 Symphony orchestra 1979
Bagatelles and Sequences for Piano, Op. 17 Instrumental solo 1970
Ballad, Op. 111 Mixed choir 2009
I Want My Sorrow to Release Me, Op. 42 Female choir 1988
Bölcske Concerto, Op. 49 String orchestra 1993
Cantata Y, Op. 21 Solo voice(s) with orchestra 1970
Capriccio Op. 23/6 Female choir 1959
Concerto for Cimbalom and String Orchestra, Op. 121 Concerto 2011
Civis Town, Op. 91 Symphony orchestra 2005
Prince Csaba, Op. 46 String orchestra 1993
Csepel-Quartet for Woodwinds, Op. 127 Chamber Music 2012
Songs from Rottenbiller Street, Op. 1 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1955
Songs from Sümegvár Street, Op. 78 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 2003
Damjanich´s Prayer, Op. 48 Mixed choir 1993
December crying op. 94 Mixed choir 2005
Dimensions, Op. 8 Chamber Music 1966
Divertimento, Op. 6 Chamber Music 1961
Duets for Flute and Harp, Op. 64 Chamber Music 1998
Ohne Dum-dum, Op. 102 / Without Dum-dum, Op. 102 Chamber Music 2009
A Day-dreamer´s Diary, Op. 35 Symphony orchestra 1983
Eszterlánc duetts for flute and violin, Op. 96 Chamber Music 2006
The Rape of Europe, Op. 126 String orchestra 2012
Woodwind Trio Nr. 2, Op. 105 Chamber Music 0
Bassoon Music with Piano, Op. 108 Chamber Music 2009
Fantasy for Harp and String Orchestra, Op. 76 Concerto 2002
Fantasy for Harp and Piano, Op. 76 Concerto 2002
Fantasia for pianoforte, Op. 97 Instrumental solo 2006
Woodcutter, Op. 62 Male choir 1998
Erderschütterung, Op. 70 / Earthquake, Op. 70 Opera 2001
Wind Quintet, Op. 9 Chamber Music 1967
Little Garland, Op. 51 Chamber Music 1994
Chant of Glarus / Glarner Gesang, Op. 29 Symphony orchestra 1978
Gödöllő Concerto, Op. 80 Chamber orchestra 2003
When the Tárogató is Heard, Op. 95 Instrumental solo 2006
Tresses, Op.2 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1979
Flowers of Hajta, Op. 38 Instrumental solo 1984
Violin Concerto, Op. 3 Concerto 1965
Moon-gesang and Sun-anthem for Male Choir, Op. 65 Male choir 1998
Valley of the Huns / Val d´Anniviers, Op. 69 Symphony orchestra 1999
Three Intermezzos for Flute and Piano, Op. 23/1 Chamber Music 1971
Three Songs to Poems by Albert Wass, Op. 84 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 2003
Three Studies for Guitar, Op. 23/2 Instrumental solo 2005
Three Fantasies for Orchestra, Op. 36 Symphony orchestra 1984
Three Sonatinas for Piano A.B.C., Op. 131 Instrumental solo 2009
Three Movements for Violoncello, Op. 92 Instrumental solo 2005
Calls and Cries, Op. 33 Symphony orchestra 1981
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 130 Chamber Music 2013
String Quartet No. 4, Op. 135 Chamber Music 2013
Iris, Op. 22 Symphony orchestra 1972
Musical Copy-book for Schools - Etude for Two Guitars, Op. 23/2 Chamber Music 1994
School Score Book - Folk Songs for Woodwind Trio, Op. 23/3 Chamber Music 1994
Musical Copy-book for Schools – Pastorale and dance for two bassoons, Op. 23/4 Chamber Music 0
John´s Day Music, Op. 52 Instrumental solo 1994
Cantata, Op. 21 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1973
Toröffner, Op. 134 / Door Opener, Op. 134 Chamber Music 2013
Karl and Anna, Op. 41 Opera 1992
Christmas, Op. 68 Female choir 2003
Christmas Dialogue, Op. 124 Chamber Music 0
People of the East, Op. 44 Children's choir 1966
Double Concerto for Oboe and Horn with String Orchestra, Op. 72 Concerto 2002
Der Pfeffer ist klein, doch scharf, Op. 106 / The Pepper is Small, but Powerful, Op. 106 Instrumental solo 0
Quartet for Two Trumpets and Two Trombones, Op. 118 Chamber Music 0
Kyrie, Op. 34 Female choir 1981
Two Songs on Poems by Attila József, Op. 7 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1957
Two Songs on Poems by Dezső Kosztolányi, Op. 16 Solo voice(s) with solo instrument(s) 1959
Two Lovers Are One Pair, Op. 73/a Female choir 2002
Salutation, Op. 23/7 Female choir 1999
Legend, Op. 12 Mixed choir 1968
Letters from the Reservation, Op. 87 Instrumental solo 2004
Lobsang auf die Rittertugenden, Op. 100 / Praise of Knightly Virtues, Op. 100 Symphony orchestra 2007
Lupercalia, Op. 24 Wind orchestra 1972
From an Old Chest I., Op. 113 Instrumental solo 2009
From an Old Chest II., Op. 120 Instrumental solo 2010
Bird Songs, Op. 37/a,b,c Choir a cappella 1984
Music from the Field, Op. 129 Instrumental solo 2013
Hungarian Coronation Music, Op. 63 - For Orchestra Symphony orchestra 1998
Hungarian Chant, Op. 54/a Choir a cappella 1995
About the Deterioration of Hungary, Op. 107 Mixed choir 2008
Notes on the Margin, Op. 141 Instrumental solo 2016
Motet, Op. 26 Mixed choir 1972
Dances of Mucsa, Op. 50 Symphony orchestra 1994
Artist Lane 11/a, Op. 101 Instrumental solo 2007
Excursion to Naphegy, Op. 81 String orchestra 2003
Overture and Scenes, Op. 103 String orchestra 2010
Eight Movements for Two Clarinets, Op. 74 Chamber Music 2002
Summer Interlude, Op. 71 Chamber Music 2001
Easy Summer Breezes, Op. 110 Choir a cappella 2009
Summer Music, Op. 89 Concerto 2004
Summer Night, Op. 13 Female choir 1968
The Bells of Nyírbátor - Music for Twelve Brass Bnstruments, Op. 57 Ensemble 1996
Chicken in the Reed, Op. 28 Female choir 1977
Four Portraits for Orchestra, Op. 56 Symphony orchestra 1996
Four pieces for zimbalom, Op. 98 Instrumental solo 2006
Four Etudes for Guitar, Op. 133 Instrumental solo 2013
Four Miniatures for Oboe and Viola, Op. 132 Chamber Music 2013
Quartetto, Op. 149 / Quartet, Op. 149 Chamber Music 2014
Flowers of October, Op. 77 Symphony orchestra 2003
Sheaf Untied, Op. 43 Mixed choir 1991
Pastorale and Dance, Op. 23/4 Chamber Music 1954
Pastoral and Rondo, Op. 66 Chamber Music 1998
Preludes and Fantasy for Organ, Op. 59 Instrumental solo 1997
Duets for Two Violins, Op. 79 Chamber Music 2003
Pécs Concerto for Five Soloists and String Orchestra, Op. 61 Concerto 1998
Quartetto per percussioni, Op. 18 Chamber Music 1969
Requiem for Lajos Kassák, Op. 15 Solo voice(s), choir & orchestra 1969
Rondo, Op. 145 Instrumental solo 2018
Quintet for Brass Nr. 2, Op. 116 Chamber Music 0
Quintetto d´ottoni, Op. 31 Chamber Music 1979
Scherzo, Op. 142 Chamber Music 2016
Szeged Concerto, Op. 88 Chamber orchestra 2004
Sonatina No. 1, Op. 23, No. 5 Instrumental solo 1961
Sonatina No. 2, Op. 83 Instrumental solo 2006
Sonatina for Harp, Op. 47 Instrumental solo 1993
Sonatina for Piano, Op. 136 Instrumental solo 2014
The Beautiful Border of My Homeland, Op. 115 Female choir 2010
Blond Nyitra Black Vág, Op. 126 String orchestra 2019
Little Grape and Little Fish, Op. 40 Symphony orchestra 1987
Tabulae, Op. 25 Ensemble 1973
Spring Song - Autumn Song, Op. 60 Female choir 1997
Tavaszváró kettősök, Op. 125 Chamber Music 2012
Twelve Easy Pieces for Piano, Op. 123 Instrumental solo 2011
Trianon, Op. 112 Orchestral work 0
Trio for Three Trumpets, Op. 143 Chamber Music 2016
Trio, Op. 148 Chamber Music 2020
Trio, Op. 19 Chamber Music 1970
Winter Cantata for Children´s Choir and Youth String Orchestra, Op. 67 Choir and orchestra 1999
Fairy Ilona, Op. 45 Symphony orchestra 1992
Travels in Bihar op. 93 Symphony orchestra 2005
Dawn, Op. 117 String orchestra 2011
String Quartet, Op. 53 Chamber Music 1995
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 114 Chamber Music 2010
String Trio Nr. 2, Op. 104 Chamber Music 0
Trio for strings, Op. 99 Chamber Music 2006
Expectation, Op. 73/c Female choir 2008
Xenia II, Op. 85 - Nonet Ensemble 2003
Xenia, Op. 20 Ensemble 1970
Music for Trumpet and Orchestra, Op. 86 Symphony orchestra 2004
Zenith, Op. 10 Solo voice(s) with orchestra 1967
Gift from the North, Op. 139 Instrumental solo 0
Gift from the North, Op. 139 (Version for piano) Instrumental solo 0
Five Children´s Choruses, Op. 11 Children's choir 1974
Five Brothers, Op. 5 Instrumental solo 1960
Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 109 Symphony orchestra 2010
Greetings to Viola, Op. 90 - For Viola Solo Instrumental solo 2004