Rajna, Thomas

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Rajna, Thomas

Rajna, Thomas , Hungarian-born English pianist, teacher, and composer; b. Budapest, Dec. 21, 1928. He studied with Kodály, Veress, and Weiner at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (1944–47) and with Howells at the Royal Coll. of Music in London (graduated, 1952). He taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London (1963–67) and the Univ. of Surrey (1967–70). In 1970 he became senior lecturer and in 1989 assoc. prof. at the Univ. of Cape Town. As a pianist, Rajna made tours of Europe and South Africa, becoming primarily known for his performances of Liszt, Granados, Scriabin, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. His own works assume a classical mold, with distinctly modern contents in harmony and counterpoint.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Amarantha (1991–95). ORCH .: Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orch. (1948–50); Suite for Strings (1952–54); 2 piano concertos: No. 1 (1960–62; London, March 18, 1966) and No. 2 (1984); Movements for Strings (1962); Cantilenas and Interludes (London, Feb. 7, 1968); Harp Concerto (1990); Fantasy for Violin and Orch. (1996). CHAMBER: Dialogues for Clarinet and Piano (1947); String Quartet (1948); Music for Cello and Piano (1950); Music for Violin and Piano (1956–57); Serenade for 10 Winds, Percussion, Harpsichord, and Piano (1950); Music for Violin and Harp (1997). Piano Preludes (1944–49). VOCAL: 3 Hebrew Choruses (1972); 4 Traditional African Lyrics for High Voice and Piano (1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire