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Tibor Polgar: Biography

Tibor Polgar
1907 - 1993
Region: Ontario

Tibor Polgar

TIBOR POLGAR, composer, conductor, pianist, professor of music, writer, was born March 11, 1907 in Budapest, Hungary (and died on August 26, 1993). After graduating from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied with Zoltán Kodály, he began his career with the Hungarian Radio, first as pianist and accompanist. Shortly afterwards he became the permanent conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra, of which he was one of the founders. He later became Head of the Music Department and finally Artistic Director of the Corporation.

During the same period of time he was a prolific composer in every field of music from opera, through symphonic works to pop music. He also composed the musical scores for a great number of stage pieces and for more than 200 films, both features and documentaries. His stage pieces have been performed in almost all the important theatres in Hungary, where he also conducted with the Budapest State Opera House. He was honoured for his musical activities in Hungary by twice being awarded The Ferenc Erkel Music Prize for composers, and he also won several prizes for his film music.

In the early sixties Polgar conducted the Philharmonia Hungarica for two years. A few years later, in 1964, he and his wife, actress-singer Ilona Nagykovacsi, immigrated to Toronto, where they became citizens in 1969. Polgar's activities since arriving in Canada include: Teaching privately piano and theory of music (1964-74); Conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1965-66); Teaching in the Royal Conservatory of Music Opera School (1966-68); Working with the Canadian Opera Company (1966-75); Working as a composer and pianist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1966-); Composer of TV commercials (1966-); Associate Director of Music Prologue to the Performing Arts (1975-76); Guest conductor for both the Oshawa and North York Symphony (1972-73); Course Director in orchestration at York University, Toronto (1976-77); Received many commissions as a composer through the Ontario Arts Council.

1987

CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers, Toronto Musicians Association, Guild of Film Composers of Canada

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