Marián Varga

Slovak postmodernist composer and organ player Marián Varga was born in Skalica on 29 January 1947. He played piano from the age of six, then studied piano and composition at the Bratislava School of Music, but was thrown out for skipping lessons, and in 1962 began playing piano and organ in the rock band Prúdy, creating the legendary Jingle, bells album in 1969.

In 1969 he formed the Slovak art rock band Collegium Musicum, influential on the Czech/Slovak music scene in the 1970s, which played mostly instrumental music, including original compositions and reinterpretations of classical themes by Haydn, Bartók, Stravinsky and others. When the group disbanded in 1979, Varga began a solo career, becoming a pioneer of real-time composition (absolute improvisation). Working with Pavol Hammel, he released five albums and created Slovakia's first rock musical, Cyrano z Predmestia (Cyrano from the Suburbs).

Marián Varga, who had suffered for most of his life with health issues, especially stomach pains, died on 8 August 2017, aged seventy.