Portrait of Ernő Király


Ernő Király, the John Cage of Voivodina, is a songwriter and ethno- grapher. He was born on 16th March 1919 in Subotica. He was drawn to music at an early age and learned to play the guitar, the piston and the mouth organ. From 1954 to 1983 he was the editor of the Hungarian folk music programmes on Novi Sad Radio. As an ethnographer he collected a valuable collection of Hungarian, Serbian, Rusin, and Gypsy songs. He also devoted much of his time to folk instruments and folk customs. As a songwriter he composed a large number of works on a wide spectrum of genres. His first important compositions were writing music to accompany the verses of poets from Novi Sad. His works are determined by the meeting of folk music and the avant-garde. During his search for new sounds and musical forms he created two instru- ments: the zitherphone (1974), based on the traditional Hungarian zither, and the multimedia tablophone (1976).