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zvonimir nagy

Zvonimir Nagy

Associate Professor of Music
Mary Pappert School of Music

School of Music, Room 2Q
Phone: 412.396.5494


D.M., Northwestern University, 2009
M.M., Texas Christian University, 2005
A.D., Texas Christian University, 2003
B.M., Academy of Music, University of Zagreb, 1999

Dr. Zvonimir Nagy is a music composer and scholar. His creative and research work extends into interdisciplinary contexts and perspectives on music and embodiment, forging connections between music, technology, psychology, and philosophy. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Duquesne University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on acoustic and electronic composition, music theory and analysis, orchestration, and seminars on musical creativity, composition, cognitive music theory, and contemporary music. As a performer, he is an active organist and pianist with interests in new music and improvisation. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University.

Dr. Nagy composes acoustic, choral, electroacoustic, and multimedia music and he writes primarily for orchestra, chamber ensemble, choir, and solo musicians. His compositions are informed by embodied music cognition, while his recent works are influenced by issues from cognitive music theory, with a focus on the relationship between music, language, and meaning. His work also combines computer-assisted processes for music composition, notation, and analysis, as well as self-referential and dynamic systems with more intuitive approaches to composing. The recordings of his compositions are available from PARMA Recordings, Albany Records, and MSR Classics; selected compositions are published by Paraclete Press, Musik Fabrik, Aldebaran Editions.

His recent book, entitled Embodiment of Musical Creativity: Cognitive and Performative Causality of Musical Composition, published by Routledge in 2017, offers an innovative look at the interdisciplinary nature of creativity in musical composition.

Dr. Nagy is the recipient of the Duquesne University's Presidential Scholarship Award and the Paluse Faculty Research Grant.

He resides in Pittsburgh with his wife, Haley, and sons Luka and Niko. More information at nagymusic.com.


Graduate Courses
Form and Analysis, GMTH 533 (MUSC 431)
Music Since 1950, GMTH 558
Orchestration, GMTH 540 (MUSC 340)
Perspectives on Musical Creativity, GMLI 557
Topics in Music Theory and Analysis: Cognitive Music Theory, GMTH 549 (MUSC 426)
Topics in Music Theory and Analysis: Listening to Modern Music, GMTH 549 (MUSC 426)
Topics in Music Theory and Analysis: Approaches to Tonality, GMTH 549 (MUSC 426)

Undergraduate Courses
Composition II, MUSC 352
Composition III, MUSC 313
Electronic Composition (composition lessons), MUTK 315
Introduction to Composition I, MUSC 255
Musicianship III Written and Aural-Oral, MUSC 201-202
Musicianship IV Written and Aural-Oral, MUSC 211-212

Grants and Awards

2017. Paluse Faculty Research Grant, Duquesne University.
2017. Investing in Professional Artists Grant. The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.
2015. Society of Music Theory Subvention Grant.
2010. Faculty Assistance Grant, St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL.
2008. Composition Assistance Grant, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
2008. Wyatt Fund Grant, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.


2016. Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artists. The Pittsburgh Foundation (nomination).
2016. Bruno Maderna International Composition Competition, Lviv, Ukraine (honorable mention).
2013. Presidential Scholarship Award, Duquesne University.
2013. New Music for St. Paul's Choral Competition, London, United Kingdom (semi-finalist).
2013. Choral Composition Prize, Wicker Park Choral Singers, Chicago, IL.
2013. International Sacred Music Composers Competition (honorable mention).
2012. Seattle Symphony Composition Prize, Celebrate Asia Festival, Seattle, WA.
2011. BBC/University of Aberdeen Composition Prize, Aberdeen, United Kingdom (finalist).
2011. André Marchal International Improvisation Competition, Biarritz, France (semi-finalist).
2011. Iron Composer Composition Award (1st place), Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH.
2010. César Franck International Organ Competition, Haarlem, Netherlands (2nd prize).
2010. Swan Prize in Choral Composition, The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
2008. Karlins Prize in Musical Composition, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
2006.Hall National Organ Competition, San Antonio, TX (honorable mention).
2006. Frédéric Chopin National Piano Competition, Corpus Christi, TX (1st place).
2005. Texas Music Teachers National Association Composition Competition (3rd prize).
2005. Durington Composition Award, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX.
2003. Darko Lukić Young Artist Award for Creative Activity.Vatroslav Lisinski Hall, Zagreb, Croatia.
2002. Conservatoires de la Ville de Paris Chamber Music Competition, Paris, France (1st place).
2002. Juraj Haulik Award, Croatian Music Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.

CD Recordings of Musical Compositions

2018. Angelus: Music for Organ. North Hampton, NH: PARMA Recordings (Ravello Label) RR 7987.
2017. Liquescence: Music by Zvonimir Nagy. Albany, NY: Albany Records TROY 1699.
2016. Angel Annunciation for cello and piano. 2016 Bruno Maderna Composition Competition. Rovato, Italy: Aldebaran Editions.
2014. Vestiges: Works for Solo Piano. Newtown, CT: MSR Classics "Discover Series" MS 1515.

Scores of Musical Compositions

2016. Angel Annunciation for cello and piano. Rovato, Italy: Aldebaran Edition.
2016. Preludes for a Prayer for organ. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2016. Christmas Prelude for organ. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2015. Vestiges for piano. Lagny sur Marne, France: Editions de la Musique Fabrique.
2014. Eternal Peace for unaccompanied SATB/SSAA choir. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2014. Carol Lullaby for unaccompanied SATB/SAB choir/SATB choir and flute/treble voices and keyboard. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2014. Verset for organ. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2014. Vocalise for organ. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press.
2013. Collage for oboe, clarinet and bassoon. Lagny sur Marne, France: Editions de la Musique Fabrique.
2013. Eyes of Mercy for unaccompanied SATB choir. Franklin, IL: World Library Publications.
2013. Call to Prayer for unaccompanied SATB choir/SAB choir and organ. Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications.
2013. God of Light for children choir and organ. Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications.
2013. Enchantments for violin, cello and piano. Lagny sur Marne, France: Editions de la Musique Frabrique.

Book Monograph

2017. Embodiment of Musical Creativity: The Cognitive and Performative Causality of Musical Composition. Abingdon, UK: Routledge (An Ashgate Book: SEMPRE Series in the Psychology of Music).

Journal Article

2015. "The Apperception of Musical Creativity: Performance as Ritual, Composition as Self-Realization." Creativity Research Journal 27 (1), 1-8.

Performance, Presentations, and Talks

Compositions Performances

For a complete catalog of compositions and performances, visit the Online Composition Portfolio

Scholarly Presentations

From Spirit-Within Sound-To Self
Arts + Spirituality: 2017 Verge Conference
Trinity Western University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2017

Improvisation as Real-Time Composition
Musicking: Improvisation, Ornamentation, and Variation
The University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 2017

The Embodied Creativity of Musical Composition
Embodied Monologues Symposium
Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland, 2017

Improvisation as Real-Time Composition
The Improvising Brain III: Cultural Variation and Analytical Approaches
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 2017

Multimodality of Creative Experience: Towards the Embodiment of Musical Creativity
International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music
The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 2015

Ligeti's White on White: Embodied Cognition of the Compositional Process
International Festival for Artistic Innovation,
Leeds College of Music, Leeds, United Kingdom, 2014

Extemporaneous Sublime: Indeterminacy and Transience of the Improvised Moment
American Guild of Organists National Conference, Boston, MA, 2014

Ligeti's White on White: Embodied Cognition of the Compositional Process
György Ligeti Symposium and Festival, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 2013

From Soul–Within Sound–to Self
International Festival on Spirituality and Music Education
The University of Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2013

Performance as Ritual; Creativity as Prayer
Aesthetics and Pedagogy of Charles Tournemire Symposium
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2012

Scholarly Talks, Workshops, and Masterclasses

Composing Inner Resonance: Contemporary Musical Settings of the Passion
Catholic Artistic Imagination Speaker Series
Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2015

Art and Music in Abrahamic Religions. Lecture-Recital
Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL, 2012

Guest Composer Lecture and Composition Master Class
The University of Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela, 2011

Composition and Choral Ensemble Workshop
The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2010