He started to play the piano in the music school of his home town when he was six. He also completed the secondary school there, in the Széchenyi Grammar School. In 1949 he was acepted for the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied with János Viski. He graduated in 1956. In 1962 he attended the Darmstadt summer courses and for the next three years composed only studies.
From 1957 on, he worked as a lecturer in music theory and composition for fifteen years in the Béla Bartók Secondary School for Music. Since 1962 he has been giving lectures at the Music Academy. In 1968 he became a reader there and since 1974 he has been a university professor at the Academy. During these years he was teaching counterpoint, score reading and composition. From 1988 to 1994 he was rector of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy, and at the moment he is a professor emeritus there.In 1992 he took part in the founding of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts; his inaugural ceremony took place in February 1999.
His prizes and awards:Erkel Prize (1974); Artist of Merit (1981); Bartók-Pásztory Award (1987, 2002); Outstanding Artist (1990); Kossuth Prize (1999); Péter Pázmány Prize (1999); Artisjus Prize (2008).