Ránki, György , noted Hungarian composer; b. Budapest, Oct. 30, 1907; d. there, May 22, 1992. He studied composition with Kodály at the Budapest Academy of Music (1926–30) and ethnomusicology with Schaeffner in Paris (1938–39), and then devoted himself to composition. He won the Erkel (1952, 1957) and Kossuth (1954) prizes, and in 1963 was made a Merited Artist by the government; received the Bartók-Pásztory award (1987). He won distinction as a composer of both serious and popular Works.
DRAMATIC : King Pomádé’s New Clothes, comic opera (1953–67); The Tragedy of Man, “mystery opera” (1970); The Boatman of the Moon, “opera-fantasy” (1979); Terminal, music drama (1988); also 3 Nights, musical tragedy (1961), an operetta, much other theater music, and numerous film scores. ORCH.: Aristophanes Suite for Violin and String Orch. (1947–58); Sword Dance (1949); Hungarian Dances from the 16th Century (1950); Don Quijote y Dulcinea, 2 miniatures for Oboe and Small Orch. (1961); Fantasy for Piano and Orch., after woodcuts by Gyula Derkovits (1962); Aurora tempestuosa, prelude (1967); Circus, symphonic dance drama (1965); Ruga di notte for Violin and Orch. (1974); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1977) and No. 2, In Memoriam Zoltán Kodály (1981); Concertino for Cimbalom, Xylophone, Timpani, Percussion, and String Quintet (1978); Viola Concerto (1979); Divertimento for Clarinet and Strings (1986). CHAMBER : Serenata all’antiqua for Violin and Piano (1956); Pentaero-phonia, 3 pieces for Wind Quintet (1958); Serenade of the 7- Headed Dragon for Brass Septet (1980); String Quartet No. 1: In Memoriam Béla Bartók (1985); The Tales of Father Goose, musical joke for Brass Septet (1987); also piano pieces, including 3 sonatas (n.d., 1947, 1980). VOCAL : 1944, oratorio for Baritone, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1967); Cantus urbis for 4 Soloists, Chorus, and Instrumental Ensemble (1972); Leverkühn’s Abschied, mono-drama for Tenor and 10 Instruments (1979); Overture to the 21st Century for Chorus and Orch. (1987); choruses; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire