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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: The magic lute : the minstrel's tale by Marian Budos, from the CD Ask me tomorrow

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. 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 feature films (A Touch of Courage:The Enlightenment, The Boe Sisters) 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 290 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 with Ivana Troselj and conducted in concerts music for the popularly received European tour of Seasons of the Soul, performed by cellist Monika Leskovar, mezzo-soprano Ivana Troselj and guitarist Ján Labant, with 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 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 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, Venezuela, Holland, Poland or Thailand.

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

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

Budos's orchestral music has been selected for US film and screen music libraries, including Perpetual Music Group.

Budos 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 the Australian National Busking Championship and the Young Virtuoso Competition. He teaches at Narrabundah College, Canberra.

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

Budos's recent compositions include Song For Leslie (2015) premiered at the Ainslie Arts Centre, Light (2015) premiered at the Australian Institute of Sport Arena and One Last Time (2016) and Last Train From Platform 49 (2018), dedicated to the memory of a life-long friend Laco Halama, both premiered at Cithara Aediculae festival.

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 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, 2018). The Perth Guitar Quartet opened the Perth International Guitar Festival in September 2018 with the work and continues to perform it.

Upcoming 2019 premieres include A New York Minute written for cellist Laura Metcalf and guitarist Rupert Boyd, Fatum for Con moto choir based on Igor Grossman's poetry, and Tres meditacions (homenatge a Antoni Gaudi) for John Couch. The thriller The Boe Sisters by Goldfish Productions, for which Budos wrote music, is to be released mid 2019.

On his recent visit to Barcelona, Budos was granted a permission from the multi-award winning internationally renowned Catalonian novelist Jaume Cabré to adopt his million-copy bestseller Jo Confesso (Confessions) to music. The premiere of this new work, Adria's Confessions for guitar and orchestra featuring Jacob Cordover is planned in Barcelona in April 2020, followed by a European concert tour and an Australian premiere.

Budos is launching a brand-new solo guitar repertoire in December 2019 in Australia, followed by a performance, masterclass and workshops at the Taranaki Guitar Summer School (New Zealand) in January 2020.

Marian Budos — current to April 2019

Studied with

Jan Labant (1988 - 1991)

Mark Norton (1993 - 1994)

Jim Cotter (1995)

Larry Sitsky (1995)

Andrew Koll (2003 - 2005)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Last Train from Platform 49 : guitar solo (2018) Commissioned by Jan Labant for the Cithara Aediculae Festival, Nitra, Slovakia
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