Bálint András Varga (1941–2019) was an advocate for and a keen critic of contemporary music, first on radio, and later as an acquisitions editor for both Editio Hungarica and Universal-Edition. He interviewed many musical figures and planned to interview visual artists before he died. His interlocutors were impressed with Varga’s insightful questions and frequently answered them much more comprehensively than they would ones from standard journalists. These two essays were intended to be published in Varga’s third book, From Boulanger to Stockhausen: Interviews and a Memoir. The first, “What to Listen for in Music,” refers to Aaron Copland’s book of the same name, furnishing some insight into the criteria Varga used when listening and judging a new work. The second, “Dogma,” recounts the twentieth-century smothering of individuality and creative imagination by a damp blanket of conformism and authoritarian dictates.
Varga, Bálint András. “Two Essays on Contemporary Music.” Music & Musical Performance: An International Journal. Issue 3, article 3 (February 2023): 1–12.