CÓN, PETER (1949-1992)

Peter Cón was born 3 July, 1949 at Košice and died 24 October, 1992 at Bratislava. He was a Slovak composer. From 1964 up to 1969 he studied at the Conservatory in Bratislava and the oboe at George Bartovič and composition with Juraj Pospíšil. Then he went to the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, studying composition with Dezider Kardoš. He graduated from college in 1974. Until 1976 he worked as a dramaturge at Slovak Television in Bratislava. From 1977 up to 1979 he worked as accompanist with SĽUK (Slovak Folk Art Ensemble). Since 1979 he was a freelance artist and since 1984 had led the Academic singing association TEMPUS.

Peter Cón went through a very diverse evolution. Initially focused on an area called “Higher Pop,” he also created several electroacoustic compositions, gradually more inclined to chamber music and more recently he had written several major chamber and choral compositions. His choral works have won several international awards – the composition "Primo Vere" (originally for female choir) won 1st prize at the International Competition of Ibague in Columbia and also 1st prize at the Competition Rencontres Internationales de Chant Choral in Tours (France) in 1985; the mixed choir piece "Cantemus" won 3rd prize in 1985 also in Columbia.
Among other notable awards are: the prize for children's choir Zabarambarumbarimburujte si s nami in the Competition of Cs. Radio in 1982; the prize for male choirs Leje / Pouring in a competition announced by North Bohemian teachers; 2nd prize in Competition Generace 1982 for the chamber piece "Musica Pro Tabulam." The most important components of Peter Cón's work are rhythm and melody. In the development of musical process he worked with a freely led melodic line, mostly in a polyphonic manner. Also, in his homophonic works the accompanying part is perceived as the second voice. His melodic lines for voices depend directly on vertical shape, with emphasis on the resulting harmonious consonance, and it is never left to chance. Another important building block of his compositions is rhythm. Peter Cón worked primarily with regular and motor-like meter, its fast parts affected by jazz elements. The emphasis is on living pulsation, ostinato and syncopated figures, and rhythmic repetition of tones or crotchets. In harmony, he more or less preserves tonal relationships, leading to a specific tonal center. His most notable chamber compositions are: "Musica Folklorica" for clarinet, violin, viola and cello, "Musica Fisarmonica" for accordion, and "Musica Pro Tabulam" for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano, which was made upon a request by the Bratislava ensemble Quattro soli da camera. In the last two he merged the classical ideal with the freshness of inner musical process, influenced by jazz elements. Similarly oriented compositions are "Tre Trombonetti" for trombone and piano and "Clarinettina "for clarinet and piano.