Kiss, Janos, Hungarian-born American composer; b. Hosszupalyi, March 21, 1920. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music (teaching diploma, 1954). In the wake of the Soviet invasion of Hungary (1956), he emigrated to the U.S., becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1973. He took courses in music education at Case Western Reserve Univ. in Cleveland. He subsequently taught at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (1964–79), Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio (1967–72), Holy Family School in Parma, Ohio (1974–80), and other institutions. In 1982 he became choir director and composer-in-residence at Cleveland’s West Side Hungarian Reformed Church. A prolific composer, he wrote numerous orch. and choral works which are distinguished by a facility of execution reflecting his experience as a teacher.
orch.: Flute Concerto (1970); Trombone Concerto (1972); Cello Concerto (1975); Divertimento for Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Harp, and Chamber Ensemble (1977); Suite in stilo antico (1978); Via Lactea, symphonic fantasy (1978); Sinfonia Atlantis (1979); Las Vegas for Cimbalom and Orch. (1980); Mount of Atlantis for Clarinet, Synthesizer, and Orch. (1981); Quo Vadis, symphonic poem (1982); Rainbow at the Sea for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1982). chamber:Spring at Last! for Harp Ensemble (1970); Josepha for 5 Alto Recorders, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Harp (1973); Episode for Horn, Oboe, Bassoon, and Harp (1978); Benedictus Dominus for Chorus and Orch. (1981).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire