• 1921 – 1925

    grammar school in Banská Bystrica

  • 1925 – 1929

    Teachers' Institute in Banská Bystrica

  • since 1929

    teacher in Medzibrod

  • 1930 – 1939

    teacher in Ivánka pri Dunaji

  • 1932 – 1937

    concurrently studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (composing – Alexander Moyzes, conducting – J. Vincourek)

  • 1938

    started studying composing at the Master School of the Prague Conservatory with Vítězslav Novák, outbreak of war made him discontinue the course

  • 1939 – 1950

    various positions in the music department of the Bratislava Radio: officer of the Music and education dept., librarian, editor, since 1945 head of the Reproduced music dept., from 1947 head of music broadcasting for Slovakia and 1948 – 1950 deputy programme director of the Czechoslovak Radio

  • 1939 – 1945

    conductor of Bratislava Teachers´ Choir, choirmaster of the Academic Vocal Ensemble, head of the “Mlaď" (Youth) choir, active in music criticism

  • 1950 – 1954

    composition teacher and director of the Conservatory in Bratislava

  • 1954 – 1962

    deputy director of the Radio and chief editor of music broadcasting

  • 1955 – 1957

    creative secretary of the Slovak Composers Union

  • since 1955

    member of editorial board of the Slovak Fiction Publishing House

  • since 1956

    member of the UNESCO cooperation committee (until 1958), member of the committee for Klement Gottwald State awards, board member of the Czechoslovak Society for International Relations, board member of the Prague Spring etc..

  • 1962

    first secretary of the Slovak Composers Union

  • 1962 – 1972

    teacher of composition at the Conservatory in Bratislava

  • 1972 – 1982

    lectured on harmony and composing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava

  • 1977 – 1982

    president of the Czechoslovak Union of Composers and Concert Artists

"Očenáš is one of a group of composers who were essentially attracted to Slovak folk music as a constantly enriching source of their work. The composer’s musical feeling, informed by folk music from childhood, was manifested also in numerous arrangements of folk songs from his native milieu and other regions also. This is witnessed by the very titles of his arrangements, which were produced mainly for the requirements of radio broadcast:  Detva in Song and Music; The Bugles Blow; To Nitra by Komárno, etc. At the request of J. Budský, Očenáš collaborated musically on a production of Sládkovič’s Marína, then immediately afterwards on the stage version of Botto’s Death of Jánošík, and on K. L. Zachar’s invitation also played his part in realising the folklore programme A Year in the Village. The successes of these productions resulted in him being offered a more permanent partnership with the SND, involved in producing about ten works of musical drama.

Očenáš’s work is rich in the number of works and genres. He took inspirations from the folklore of his native region, though he tended more towards themes of all-Slovakian significance (Resurrection; Sleet; New Year; About the Fatherland; On the Earth and Man; Monuments of Glory, etc.)  His ardent relationship with the Slovak countryside is reflected in Margita and the Madwoman,  Marína, To the Mountains, Ruralia slovaca, and other works. Očenáš also responded to social events (The fate of Štefánik; Burlesque Overture; Male Choirs with a Military Theme; Bells; A Meeting (melodrama); Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1; Czechoslovak Overture, etc.). Many of Očenáš’s pieces have a narrowly subjective focus, or they were produced for the needs of a developing musical and artistic life: First Letters; Orchestral Suite No. 1; Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano; Don Quijote Suite, etc. A smaller section of his work is devoted to children.
Andrej Očenáš’s music is distinguished by both impressionist and expressionist elements. From the outset, one could detect in his pieces the influence of modern thinking about music, although always this was tempered in fusion with his innate lyrical-epic feeling, formed by folk musicality. His work characteristically shows a sense of dramaturgic contrast, an affecting lyricism alternating with quiet meditation; he plunges into his inner self with explosions of passion, dramatic tensions, powerful gradations. His harmonic thinking underwent an evolution, from the principle of the third in chord construction, to densely assembled four-note and multi-note figures, clusters, and a not infrequent use of the twelve-tone. An interesting feature of his work is the limited employment of counterpart and polyphonic composition."

(PALOVČÍK, Michal: Andrej Očenáš. In: A Hundred Slovak Composers. Eds. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar. Bratislava : National Music Centre Slovakia, 1998, pp. 218 – 219.)