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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 : 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 and Mark Norton; and conducting with Andrew Koll and Roland Peelman. He heads the Music Department at Narrabundah College in Canberra.

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 many awards, the most prestigious being the 1998 SOZA Composer of the Year Award (Slovakia's highest music award) for his work Two Worlds for classical and semi-acoustic guitars televised nationally and later released on an album of the same title. Compositions from this album formed core repertoire for the 1997 tour of Slovakia organised by the government arts agency Slovkoncert, and a tour of Australia in 1999, where Budos performed in a trio with Ivana Troselj and Ján Labant.

In 2002, the world-renowned conductor Oliver Dohnanyi premiered and recorded his three guitar concertos with soloists Ján Labant, Rémi Boucher, Peter Remeník, and the Slovak Sinfonietta and Archi di Slovakia, later released on the album Heart on a Sleeve. Music from this album has been used in feature films (A Touch of Courage: The Enlightenment; The Boe Sisters), television, and repeatedly featured on the US-based Classical Guitar Alive! show broadcast across over 300 radio stations in the Americas, Europe and Africa. Heart on a Sleeve and Secret Wedding were further performed at concerts in Poland and Slovakia by Filharmonia Czestochowa, Lublin Philharmonics, and Archi di Slovakia.

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 with Ivana Troselj and conducted music for the popularly received European tour of Seasons of the Soul, with cellist Monika Leskovar, mezzo-soprano Ivana Troselj, guitarist Ján Labant, vocal group Close Harmony Friends, and the Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal. Budos has also worked on numerous projects with leading Australian performers, such as the 2010 Once Upon a Time concert tour 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 three decades featuring Budos's music include guitarists Tonié Field, John Couch, Ondrej Veselý, 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, radio and TV broadcast in countries as varied as Cuba, Mexico, Holland, Germany or Thailand.

To celebrate 100 years of the Australian capital Canberra in 2013, Budos wrote two commissioned works: Clepsydra (Water Clock),premiered by Swedish quartet The Peärls Before Swïne Experience with Griffyn Ensemble at Belconnen Arts Centre, and My Canberra (Symphony No.2) - performed and recorded at Llewellyn Hall, featuring Canberra Youth Orchestra conducted by Rowan Harvey-Martin.

In 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 has been selected for US film music libraries, including Perpetual Music Group.

Budos served as the President of Canberra Youth Music Council from 2012 to 2014 in its 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.

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

Budos's recent compositions include Light (2015) premiered at the Australian Institute of Sport Arena; One Last Time (2016) and Last Train From Platform 49 (2018), premiered at Cithara Aediculae festival by Ján Labant; Tres meditacions (homenatge a Antoni Gaudi), premiered by John Couch in Adelaide (2019); and A New York Minute, written for cellist Laura Metcalf and guitarist Rupert Boyd premiered in Canberra and further performed during their Boyd Meets Girl tour of Australia (June/July 2019) and repeatedly in the USA (2020-21).

The Passing of a Black Star (Homage to David Bowie) commissioned by the New Zealand Guitar Quartet was premiered in Wellington in 2016, followed by the quartet's tour of China (2016), New Zealand (2017) and Australia, Mexico and USA in 2018. The work is the title of the quartet's most recent album and has been broadcast repeatedly on Radio New Zealand (Album of the week, July 2017), ABC Classic (Album of the week October 2017), Classical Guitar Alive show (2017-18). The Perth Guitar Quartet opened the Perth International Guitar Festival in September 2018 with the work and continues to perform it.

Budos premiered solo guitar works Nostalgia II, Six Personalities, and A Little Rock Suite in Canberra in Februray 2020 and Liminal Moments for flute and guitar with his duo partner Jane Rayner in October 2020.

During his 2018 Barcelona visit, Budos was granted permission from the multi-award-winning Catalonian novelist Jaume Cabré to adapt his international million-copy bestseller Jo Confesso (Confessions) to music. The premiere of this new work Adrià's Confessions, a book-concerto for guitar and orchestra, featuring soloist Jacob Cordover, supported by the ACT Government, Australian Embassy in Madrid, and the Australian Music Centre, in Barcelona's iconic Palau de la Música, will be on 21 April 2021.

Most recently, Budos received permission from Affirm Press Melbourne and author Pip Williams to put her novel The Dictionary of Lost Words to music. The new book-concerto for harp and orchestra (Esme' Words) featuring Alice Giles is planned to be premiered in Canberra in 2022.

Marian Budos — current to January 2021

Studied with

Jan Labant (1988 - 1991)

Mark Norton (1993 - 1994)

Jim Cotter (1995)

Larry Sitsky (1995)

Andrew Koll (2003 - 2005)


Collaborated with

Ivana Troselj (1995 - current)

Jan Labant (1996 - current)

Anthony Field (1998 - 1999)

Archi di Slovaka (2001)

Remi Boucher (2002)

Peter Remenik (2002)

Slovak Sinfonietta (2002)

Oliver von Dohnanyi (2002)

Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal (2005)

Monika Leskovar (2005)

John Couch (2007 - current)

Alice Giles (2010 - current)

David Pereira (2010)

Niels Rosendahl (2010)

Canberra Youth Orchestra (2013)

New Zealand Guitar Quartet (2016 - 2018)

Jaume Cabré (2018 - current)

Jacob Cordover (2018 - current)

Cesar Mateos (2019 - current)

Orquestra del Reial Cercle Artístic de Barcelona (2019 - current)

Sally Walker (2019)

Igor Grossman (2020 - current)

Jane Rayner (2020 - current)

Pip Williams (2020 - current)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Tres meditacions (homenatge a Antoni Gaudi) : for retuned classical guitar (2019) Commissioned by John Couch.
Digital sheet music sample A New York Minute : for cello and guitar (2018) Commissioned by Laura Metcalf, Rupert Boyd.
Digital sheet music sample Last Train From Platform 49 : guitar solo (2018) Commissioned by Jan Labant for the Cithara Aediculae Festival, Nitra, Slovakia
The Passing of a Black Star : tribute to David Bowie (2016) Commissioned by New Zealand Guitar Quartet.
Digital sheet music sample One last time : for classical guitar (2016) Commissioned by Ján Labant.
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