One of the most important members of the generation of Hungarian composers who followed Bartók and Kodály. His œuvre includes theatrical, orchestral, oratorial, chamber, and solo instrumental works. Although he rarely quoted folk material directly in his music, folksong, popular music and the spirit of the Hungarian musical tradition permeated his works. In the last two decades of his life he wrote atonal and twelwe-tone compositions. With his Wind quintet (composed 1949) he created a genre which plays an important role in the new Hungarian music.
Gyula Dávid was born in Kecskemét on May 6, 1913. He studied composition with Albert Siklós and Zoltán Kodály at the Academy of Music in Budapest, graduating in 1938. With the motivation from György Kerényi, he joined the collecting work of Hungarian peasant songs led by Zoltán Kodály, and he wrote concert criticism as well. Between 1938 and 1945 he worked in several orchestras as viola player, from 1945 to 1949 he was conductor at Hungarian National Theatre, than he was the leader of the Ensemble of the Hungarian Army. From 1961 to his retirement he was professor at the Teachers Training Faculty of the Academy of Music in Budapest. Between 1951 and 1960 he taught wind chamber music, music theory and wind orchestration at the Academy of Music. He was one of the founders of the Hungarian Artists’ Union.
He died in Budapest on March 14, 1977.
His prizes and awards
Kossuth Prize (1957), Erkel Prize (1952, 1955).