Sándor Balassa

Hungarian composer and teacher Sándor Balassa was born in Budapest on 20 January 1935. He studied music with Endre Szervánszky, and won the 1983 Hungarian state-sponsored Kossuth Prize.

Balassa's four operas were very successful, probably because his compositional style was very tonal. He also wrote large-scale orchestral pieces, plus many choral and chamber works. From the end of the 1980s he began to receive commissions from high profile organisations such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation and the Koussevitzky Foundation.

He created music programmes as a producer for Hungarian Radio (1964-80) and taught at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music (1981-96).

Sándor Balassa died on 14 May 2021, aged eighty-six.


A selection of articles about Sándor Balassa

Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - A short night at the opera

Classical music news - May 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month