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Marian Budos : Associate Artist

Of the few languages I can speak, I feel absolutely the most fluent in Music. I cannot remember ever not ’speaking' it and I still feel the child-like excitement of visiting that special place Music takes you to, every time I compose.

Random Audio Sample: Two worlds : Home : song for the loved ones by Marian Budos, from the CD Hemispheres


Photo of Marian Budos

Photo: Ivana Troselj

Marian Budos (b.1968, Slovakia) has had an intriguing career as a composer, classical guitarist, conductor and pedagogue, preceded by an earlier successful international career as a champion 1500m runner for the Czecho-Slovakian national team. In 1991, Budos graduated from Matej Bel University with a Bachelor of Education. The following year, he permanently settled in Australia. In 1995, Budos continued his studies in composition at the Australian National University with Jim Cotter and Larry Sitsky. He studied classical guitar with virtuoso Ján Labant followed by Mark Norton and conducting with Andrew Koll and Roland Peelman.

Budos's compositional style is driven by structure, direction and narrative content. His belief in strong harmonic, melodic and rhythmical development is underscored by an unorthodox use of instrumentation and orchestration, based on a mixture of Western and non-Western musical traditions.

Budos has received a number of awards, the most prestigious being the 1998 SOZA Composer of the Year Award for his work Two Worlds for classical and semi-acoustic guitars televised nationally on STV and later released on a CD of the same title. Compositions from this CD formed core repertoire for the 1997 Slovkoncert tour of Slovakia and consequently tour of Australia in 1999, where Budos performed in a trio with Ivana Troselj and Ján Labant.

Budos has worked as a composer, conductor or performer with numerous individuals, ensembles and orchestras locally and internationally. In 2002, the conductor Oliver von Dohnanyi premiered and recorded his three guitar concertos with soloists Ján Labant, Rémi Boucher and Peter Remeník and the Slovak Sinfonietta, later released on the album Heart on a Sleeve. Music from this album has been used in film and television, and it has also been featured repeatedly on the US-based Classical Guitar Alive! show, which broadcasts weekly to over a million of listeners across two hundred radio stations in North and South Americas, Europe and Africa.

Budos's arrangements of traditional Slovakian folk songs were featured in two concerts at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games celebrations in Canberra.

In 2005, Budos co-wrote and conducted music for the popularly received European tour of Seasons of the Soul with Ivana Troselj, which was performed by cellist Monika Leskovar, mezzo-soprano Ivana Troselj and guitarist Ján Labant, together with vocal group Close Harmony Friends and the Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal. He has also worked on numerous projects with leading Australian performers, such as the Once Upon a Time concert tour in 2010 with cellist David Pereira, harpist Alice Giles, saxophonist Niels Rosendahl, composer Ivana Troselj, and puppeteers Cathie Roach and Cathy Petocz.

Other significant artistic collaborations forged over the last two and a half decades featuring Budos's music include guitarists Tonié Field, John Couch, Ondrej Vesely, VCA Guitar Orchestra, the JGO South German Orchestra, Hamburg Guitar Duo, Satori Quartet and flutist Ján Figura, many of which resulted in concert tours, festival performances, recordings and radio broadcast in countries as varied as Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Poland or Thailand.

To celebrate 100 years of the Australian National Capital Canberra in 2013, Budos was commissioned to write two new works: Clepsydra (Water Clock), premiered by the visiting Swedish quartet The Peärls Before Swïne Experience with local Griffyn Ensemble at the Belconnen Arts Centre and My Canberra (Symphony No.2) - performed and recorded live at the Llewellyn Hall, School of Music, Australian National University, featuring the Canberra Youth Orchestra.

In early 2013, Home from Two Worlds arranged for Sally Walker (flute) and Phillip Mayers (piano) was released on the album Hemisphere through Chartreuse label.

Budos's orchestral music from the album Heart On A Sleeve has been selected for US music libraries (incl. Perpetual Music Group, HD Music Now) that provide music to feature films, TV, commercials, computer games and apps.

Budos has been actively involved in helping local community music groups. He served as the President of Canberra Youth Music Council from May 2012 to June 2014 in the transitional period of merging with Music for Everyone. For this work, he was awarded an honorary life-time membership of the newly formed government funded organisation Music for Canberra in 2015.

Budos is regularly invited to adjudicate music competitions, including the Australian National Busking Championship, National Young Virtuoso Competition, the Cooma Music Competition, etc. He has also sat on a number of audition panels for orchestra players and conductors. He has headed the Music Department at Alfred Deakin High School since 2008, where he has designed and established unique orchestral and music industry curricula.

Budos is a member of Nautilus Chamber - a guitar based ensemble with Leslie Spencer, Mark Norton and Allan Spencer formed in 2016.

His compositions Linn Linnaeus and The Magic Lute featured on John Couch's latest disc Ask Me Tomorrow have been played repeatedly on a number of ABC Classic FM programmes since December 2015.

Budos's recent compositions include Song For Leslie premiered in December 2015 at the Ainslie Arts Centre, Light - music for Step Into The Limelight show premiered at the Australian Institute of Sport Arena in August 2015, One Last Time premiered by guitarist Ján Labant at the 33rd Cithara Aediculae International Guitar Festival in Nitra, Slovakia in October 2016.

The Passing of a Black Star (Homage to David Bowie) commissioned by the New Zealand Guitar Quartet was premiered in Wellington in December 2016, followed by the the quartet's tour of China. The composition has been released on the quartet's new album in June 2017 by the Rattle label to coincide with the quartets tour of New Zealand (June/July 2017). The work will also be performed on the quartet's tour of the US in 2018, where they are the featured artists at the Guitar Federation of America events in Kentucky.

Budos is currently working on a number of projects, including a new symphony based on an award-winning best-selling novel, CD & book with the acclaimed Slovakian poet Igor Grossman, and new music for his ensemble Nautilus Chamber.


Marian Budos — current to August 2017

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample One last time : for classical guitar (2016) Commissioned by Ján Labant.
The passing of a black star : tribute to David Bowie (2016) Commissioned by New Zealand Guitar Quartet.
My Canberra : Symphony No. 2 (2013) Commissioned to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra
Digital sheet music sample Clepsydra (Water clock) : for flute, bass flute, harp, piano, acoustic bass guitar, violin and violoncello (2013) Commissioned for the Centenary of Canberra celebrations - Water
Digital sheet music sample Cithara Aediculae, op.30 : for classical guitar (2012) Commissioned by the Cithara Aediculae international guitar festival, Nitra, Slovakia
Digital sheet music sample The world unseen : for a guitar quartet with tuned bottles (2011) Commissioned by Satori Quartet (Germany)