Szönyi, Erzsébet, Hungarian composer and music educator; b. Budapest, April 25, 1924. She studied piano and composition at the Budapest Academy of Music, graduating in 1947; then went to Paris, where she took courses at the Cons, with Aubin and Messiaen; also took private lessons in composition with Boulanger. Returning to Budapest, she taught at the Academy of Music from 1948 to 1981. In 1959 she was awarded the Erkel Prize. She played a major role in promoting Kodály’s educational methods in Hungary and elsewhere. Her writings include A zenei írás-olvasás módszertana (Methods of Musical Reading and Writing; 4 vols., Budapest, 1953-65; Eng. tr., 1972) and a study on Kodály’s teaching methods (Budapest, 1973; numerous trs.).
dramatic: Opera: Dalma (1952); The Stubborn Princess (1955); Firenzei tragédie (1957); The Little Bee with the Golden Wing (1974); A Gay Lament (1979); The Truth-telling Shepherd (1979); Break of Transmission (1980); Elfrida (1985). ORCH.: 2 divertimentos (1948, 1951); Organ Concerto (1958); Musica festiva (1964); 3 Ideas in 4 Movements for Piano and Orch. (1980). CHAMBER: Trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1958); Trio Sonata for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1965); Double Bass Sonata (1982); Evocano for Piano and Organ (1985). Piano : 2 sonatinas (1944, 1946); Sonata (1953). VOCAL: Oratorios; cantatas; choruses.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire