János Novák


János Novák
Director, composer
János Novák was born in 1952, in Budapest, where he earned his bachelor's degree at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, qualifying as a cello teacher in 1973. He then continued his education at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München in 1975/76, studying cello, viola da gamba, arrangement and electronic music. Later on, in 2003, he would also obtain a degree in theatre pedagogy from Budapest's University of Theatre and Film Arts. Starting in 1972, he composed the music for numerous works performed at the 25th Theatre, the Thália Theatre, the Madách Theatre, as well as for Hungarian Television and Hungarian Radio, in addition to writing songs for Cimbora and under poetry-oriented programmes. In 1977, he took up the post of music director of the Rádnoti Theatre, departing in 1992 to serve as director of the Kolibri Theatre, where he has remained since. Over the course of the past few decades, he has been credited as a director and a composer for pieces aimed both at children and adults. He creates opera productions for young people, including Let's Play Háry János!, The Swan Knight, L'infedeltà delusa (“Deceit Outwitted”) and Disruption in the Seraglio. He has written film music (e.g. for The Philadelphia Attraction, Whooping Cough and Scorpio Eats the Gemini for Breakfast). A number of his musical compositions and music for theatrical productions have been released on CD. He has also published a book, The Hummingbird Cellist, and his various writings on theatre theory have appeared in professional journals both in Hungary and abroad. He has received numerous awards and recognitions. Named to the Budapest Order of Merit (1995) and the Budapest District Six Order of Merit (1996), he has also been presented with the Mari Jászai Award (2000), the Sándor Hevesi Award (2003), the Silver Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (2005), the ASSITEJ Award (2005) and the Pro Budapest Award (2008). He was also made an honorary citizen of Budapest District Six (2015). He serves as deputy president of the International Theatrical Institute, president of the Hungarian Centre of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) and vice-president of the Hungarian Theatrical Association.