Zelenka, István, Hungarian-born Austrian, later Swiss composer; b. Budapest, July 30, 1936. After training in Budapest, he pursued studies at the Vienna Academy of Music, where he received 1st prize in composition in 1962. In 1960 he became a naturalized Austrian citizen. He later settled in Switzerland and became a naturalized Swiss citizen in 1976. In addition to working as a producer and programmer of music for the Radio Suisse Romande (from 1978), he lectured on contemporary music at the Geneva Cons, (from 1980). In 1982 he was a co-founder of the group DIGITALISMUS, and in 1983 of the collective private publishing venture EDITION ZWACHEN. In his music, Zelenka has followed an experimental course, utilizing various contemporary techniques.
dramatic: Music Theater: Dove, dove, Signore, Signori? (1971); Un Faust-digest agrémente (1979); C’est avec reconnaissance et émotion qud j’ai appris très sincèrement dévoué à tous! (1980); Estouffade de volailles (1984). ORCH.: A propos FAFNER (1971); Le très Saint Empire de Rome, comment tient-il encore debout? for Viola d’Amore and Orch. (1981); Credo for Orch. and Video (1983); Médaille, pile ET face (1984); La Traque for Cello and Orch. (1985); Etat de siège(s) (1989). CHAMBER: Ritournelles for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, and 2 Harpsichords (1975); Vivat Nucleus’ for Wind Quintet and Tape (1978); Progression/Regression? for Violin and Piano (1979); Deus ex laminae for 2 Pianos and 2 Cymbals (1979); ...The permanent variations produced by confined breeding and changing circumstances are continued and... for Alto Flute and String Trio (1979); Fünf Analysen eines Farbbildes for Violin and Piano (1981); Due(tt) (II) o for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1983); Souvenir d’enfance/mémoire d’adulte for Cello and Synthesizer (1984); Gebeetstunde for 2 Cellists, 3 Pianists, and 8 Cymbalists (1986); Musique des sphères for Clarinet, Violin, Horn, Bassoon, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, and 2 Cassettophones (1990). OTHER: Vocal works; electroacoustic scores.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire