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György Ránki was born in Budapest on October 30, 1907. Between 1926 and 1930 he studied composition under Zoltán Kodály at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. He went on to study ethnomusicology under the guidance of László Lajtha at the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest, then in 1948 and 1949 in Paris and London. Between 1947 and 1948 he was head of the music department of Hungarian Radio. From 1949 he worked as a free-lance composer. He died in Budapest on May 22, 1992.
His most important prizes and awards:
Erkel Prize (1952, 1957); Kossuth Prize (1954); Artist of Merit (1963); Outstanding Artist (1987). Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Commander's Cross (1992).