Veress, Sándor, eminent Hungarian-born Swiss composer and pedagogue; b. Kolozsvár, Feb. 1,1907; d. Bern, March 6,1992. He studied piano with his mother, and also received instruction in piano from Bartók and in composition from Kodály at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest (1923-27). He obtained his teacher’s diploma (1932), and also took lessons with Lajtha at the Hungarian Ethnographical Museum (1929-33). He worked with Bartók on the folklore collection at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest (1937-40); subsequently taught at the Academy of Music in Budapest (1943-48). In 1949 he went to Switzerland, where he received an appointment as guest prof, on folk music at the Univ. of Bern; then taught at the Bern Cons, from 1950 to 1977; also was active as a guest lecturer in the U.S. and elsewhere. He taught musicology at the Univ. of Bern (1968-77). In 1975 he became a naturalized Swiss citizen.
dramatic: Children’s Opera: Hangjegyek lázadása (Revolt of the Musical Notes; 1931). Ballet: Csodafurulya (The Miraculous Pipe; 1937; Rome, 1941); Térszüi Katicza (Katica from Térszil; 1942-43; Stockholm, Feb. 16, 1949). ORCH.: Divertimentofor Small Orch. (1935); Partitafor Small Orch. (1936); Violin Concerto (1937-39; Zürich, Jan. 9, 1951); Csürdöngölö (Hungarian Barn Dance; 1938); 2 syms: No. 1 (1940) and No. 2, Sinfonia minneapolitana (1952; Minneapolis, March 12, 1954); 4 danze transiganefor Strings (1944-9); Sirató ének[Threnody] in memoriam Bela Bartók (1945); Elojáték egy tragédiahoz (Prelude to a Tragedy; 1947); Dr amai vältozatok (Dramatic Variations; 1947); Respublica,overture (1948); Hommage à Paul Klee,fantasia for 2 Pianos and Strings (1951; Bern, Jan. 22,1952); Concerto for Piano, Strings, and Percussion (1952; Baden-Baden, Jan. 19, 1954); Sonata (Brussels, July 8, 1952); Concerto for String Quartet and Orch. (1960-61; Basel, Jan. 25, 1962); Passacaglia concertantefor Oboe and Strings (Lucerne, Aug. 31, 1961); Variations on a Theme by Zoltán Kodály (1962); Expovarefor Flute, Oboe, and Strings (1964); Musica concertantefor 12 Strings (1965-66); Clarinet Concerto (1981-82); Orbis tonorumfor Chamber Orch. (1986); Concerto Tilinkofor Flute and Orch. (1988-89); Concerto for 2 Trombones and Orch. (1989). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1931; 1936-37); Sonata for Solo Violin (1935); 2ndViolin Sonata (1939); Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1954); Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1963); Sonata for Solo Cello (1967); Wind Quintet (1968); Introduzione e Codafor Clarinet, Violin, and Cello (1972); Trio for Baryton, Viola, and Cello (1985); Stories and Fairy Talesfor 2 Percussionists (1987); piano pieces, including Fingerlarks,88 pieces (1946). VOCAL: Elegiefor Baritone, String Orch., and Harp (1964); choral works; songs.
With L. Lajtha, Népdal, népzenegyútjés (Folk Song, Folk Music Collecting; Budapest, 1936); Bela Bartók, the Man and the Artist (London, 1948); La raccolta della musica popolare ungherese (Rome, 1949).
A. Traub, S. V: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1986); A. Traub, ed., Aufsätze, Vorträge, Briefe: S. V.(Ger. and Eng.; Hofheim, 1998).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire