Kókai, RezSö, Hungarian composer and teacher; b. Budapest, Jan. 15, 1906; d. there, March 6, 1962. He was a student of Koessler (composition) and Emanuel Hegyi (piano) at the Budapest Academy of Music (1925–26), and of W. Gurlitt at the Univ. of Freiburg im Breisgau (Ph.D., 1933, with a diss. on Liszt’s early piano music). He taught in Budapest at the National Cons. (1926–34) and at the Academy of Music (from 1929); he also was head of the music dept. of the Hungarian Radio (1945–48). In 1952, 1955, and 1956 he received the Erkel Prize.
dramatic:Istvan kMly (King Stephen), scenic oratorio (1942); A rossz feleség (The Shrew), dance ballad (1942–15); Lészen agyu (There Shall be Cannons), radio opera (1951); music for radio plays and films. orch.:2 Rondos for Small Orch. (1947); Verbunkos szvit (Recruiting Suite; 1950); Violin Concerto (1952); Széki tancok (Dances from Szék; 1952); Rhapsody for Clarinet and Folk Orch. (1952); Kis magyar verbunk (Little Hungarian Recruiting Dance) for Youth Orch. (1954); Concerto all’ungherese (1957); Magyar tancok (Hungarian Dances) for Youth Orch. (1960). chamber:Serenade for String Trio (1949–50); 2 Dances for Cello and Piano (1950); 4 Hungarian Dances for Clarinet and Piano (1951); Quartettino for Clarinet and String Trio (1952); Verbunkos rapszódia (Recruiting Rhapsody) for Violin and Piano (1952); Capriccio for Violin and Piano (1952); Aria seria: Burla ostinata for Violin and Piano (1953). Piano: Toccata (1927); Sonata for 2 Pianos (1949); Quattro improvvisazioni (1949–50). vocal: Songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire