Legendary Musician Marian Varga Dies Aged 70

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Marian Varga (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 9 (TASR) – Famous Slovak musician, composer and organ player Marian Varga has died at the age of 70, music expert Lubos Zeman confirmed for TASR on Wednesday.

The founder of legendary band Collegium Musicum was born on January 29, 1947 in Skalica (Trnava region). He attended a musical school as of the age of six and later studied piano and composition at a conservatory in Bratislava for three years.

In the summer of 1967 he joined a band called Prudy, and a year later the group recorded the cult album ‘Zvonky, zvonte’. After releasing the album Varga left the band, and in the autumn of 1969 he founded the first Czechoslovak art rock band Collegium Musicum.

The repertoire of Collegium Musicum was mostly made up of instrumental pieces, including reinterpretations of the themes of classics, such as those composed by Joseph Haydn, Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky as well as original pieces written by Varga himself. When Collegium Musicum disbanded in 1979, Varga started a solo career.

Varga is also the author of incidental music for various television and theatre plays. Along with Slovak musician, singer and producer Pavol Hammel he released five successful albums and created the first Slovak musical ‘Cyrano z predmestia’ (Cyrano from the Suburbs), which premiered in Bratislava in 1977.

In 2015 President Andrej Kiska awarded him the Pribina Cross Second Class for his contribution to the development of Slovak culture. Varga also received the ‘Crystal Wing’ award in 2016 for his lifetime’s work.