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.

Szabados György


Place of Birth
Date of Birth

13 July 1939 Budapest - 10 June 2011

A well-known character of contemporary improvised music all over Europe, György Szabados was born in Budapest on 13 July 1939. His father was a physician, his mother a singer and singing teacher. His extraordinary talents, his improvising piano playing and constant eagerness to express himself and compose showed at a very early age. His musical studies were determined by these unfolding abilities, and he completed his musical studies privately. In the meantime, fulfilling the wish of his father, he also took a degree as a doctor.

The evolvement of his career was seriously hindered by the extremely closed, ideologically restricted intellectual and artistic life in Hungary under the socialist regime, when all alternative attitudes and aesthetics were considered as dangerous therefore they were forbidden and put down. Just as well as in Europe, in Hungary it was jazz that provided a paradigm for the evolution of living musicality, consequently, Szabados himself found jazz the language through which his improvising abilities could be articulated.

Nevertheless, Szabados is not a jazz musician in the regular sense of the word. His music is extraordinarily dynamic, European and Hungarian at the same time viewed from both the aspect of traditionality and modernity, filled with the freshness of spontaneity and the power of intellect.
It was not earlier than 1972 that he finally managed to break out of isolation with the help of jazz. He won the Grand Prize at the San Sebastian Jazz Competition in the category of Free Jazz, which gave him reason to rejoice, but also caused him trouble. Eventually he was able to give more concerts, especially at university jazz clubs. He founded a contemporary music workshop, where he introduced a number of students to the world of improvised contemporary music. His approach to music is rooted in his belief in the harmony of free improvisation and composition, and in music being a natural language and man a sophisticated mediator.

From the 1980s Szabados was able to give concerts abroad on a regular basis, make recordings and pursue a career as a creative and acknowledged musician. His powerful and unique musical vocabulary constitutes an individual direction in the music of today. He regularly publishes writings on musical subjects.

He has performed together with Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton (with whom he made recordings as well), with Peter Kowald, Johannes and Connie Bauer, Fred van Hove, Evan Parker, Jiri Stivin, Hans-Ludwig Petrowsky, and Vladimir Tarasov to name just a few. In recognition of his work he was given the highest Hungarian music award, the Ferenc Liszt Prize in 1983. In 2001 he also received the Prize for the Hungarian Arts and the Gábor Szabó Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hungarian Jazz Federation.

Szabados has composed music for a ballet (Iván Markó), for dance theatre (Joseph Nadj), a piece commemorating the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, ritual music, several solo piano and chamber pieces. In succession to his contemporary music workshop he established the improvising orchestra named MAKUZ (Orchestra of the Hungarian Royal Court), which became the interpreter of his ensemble compositions.

2011 Kossuth Prize

György Szabados solo concert (short fragment)
MEDIAWAVE Regional and TV Archives
Year Title Publisher Code Remark
1964 Modern jazz IV-V. - Anthology 64 Hungaroton LPX 7279-80
1975 Szabados Quartet: Az esküvő
(Szabados Quartet: The Wedding)
Hungaroton SLPX 17475 Own
1982 Debreceni Dzsessznapok 1981 Krém SLPX 17706 LP
1982 Szabados György: Adyton Hungaroton SLPX 17724 Own
1984 Szabados György: Szabraxtondos Hungaroton SLPX 17909 Own
LP, Debrecen Jazzdays ’84, Hungarian Radio Budapest Studios
1989 György Szabados, MAKUZ-Zenekar: A Szarvassá vált fiak Krém SLPX 37215 LP
1991 Szabados György és a MAKUZ: Homoki zene
(Sand Music)
Hungaroton Adyton 005 Own
1992 Szabados György: Elfelejtett énekek
(Forgotten Songs)
Fonó Records FA-012-2 Own
1997 Szabados György: A szent főnixmadár dürrögései
(Ruttings of the Sacred Phoenix Bird)
Magánkiadás Szabados és Tsa, S-001 Own
First release: Adyton - 004, 1990, LP
1997 Szabados György: Idő-zene
(Time Music)
Fonó Records FA-034-2 Own
1998 Szabados György: Jelenés
Fonó Records FA-038-2 Own
1998 Szabados György: Time Flies November Music NVR2002-2 Own
Record of the Year (Gramofon)
1999 Szabados György: Az események titkos története
(The Secret History of the Events)
Fonó Records FA-068-2 Own
2 CDs. Also contains the album Sons Turned into Stags first released as: Hungaroton SLPX 37215, 1989, LP
2001 Csillagtalan Sötét Éjjel Harmónia Produkció HCD155
2001 Szabados György: Az esküvő
(György Szabados: The Wedding)
Hungaroton HCD 71094 Own
Originally released on LP in 1975
2003 Braxton - Szabados - Taraszov Trió GyőrFree HCD 270/1
2004 Szabados György / Mákó Miklós: A szépség szíve
(The Heart of Beauty)
Fonó Records FA-213-2 Own
2005 Hungarian Jazz Store BMC HMIC BMC PCD 016 Not for sale - only for promotion / 4 CDs
2007 Szabados György és a Magyar Királyi Udvari Zenekar (MAKUZ): Készülődés a csatára GyőrFree HCD 347 Own
2008 Szabados György: Boldogasszony földje (Harangok)
(Szabados, György: Bells (The land of Boldogasszony))
BMC Records BMC CD 130 Own
2011 Szabados György, Joëlle Léandre: Live at Magyarkanizsa BMC Records BMC CD 183 Own
2014 Szabados György: Szabad Egyensúlyok GyőrFree Own