• 1954 – 1960

    Bratislava Conservatory (piano – Roman Rychlo)

  • 1960 – 1966

    Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (composition – Ján Cikker)

  • 1964 – 1974

    worked as a rehearsal pianist in the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava

  • 1974 – 1983

    he lectured on music theory at the Department of Music Education of the Teachers' Training College in Trnava

  • since 1984

    he lectured on theory of music at the Academy of Performing Arts

  • 1988 – 1991

    worked as a dramaturgy adviser of the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre

  • 1994 – 1998

    the chairman of the Slovak Section of ISCM

  • 1997

    he was appointed professor at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno

  • 2000 – 2004

    vice-dean of the Faculty of Music and Dance of the Academy of Performing Arts

“The first works of J. Beneš are illusionary, a pastiche of modernist techniques (Préférence; Waltz for Colonel Brumble; Musique pour Grock). They contain principles of later Beneš works – linearity of musical thinking, which determines the vertical structure. Individual lines lean toward thickening textures, developing separate melodic ideas in both tonal and atonal levels. The composer occasionally uses polyphony, imitation, quotes, canonical procedures, polymetrics, and motoric motion. Working with music material takes precedence to the expression of the movement, which runs freely, without major gradations and dramatism, thus Beneš became the first postmodernist composer in Slovakia in the 1970s (Six Dances for Solo Flute; Mémoire; Canzona; Music for Trumpet, Percussion and Strings; Prérérence). Fragments containing 1-4 tones create his melodies since the late '70s. In regards to melodic microstructure, he searches for various relationships, uses its repetition, variations, intonation derivations, and creates different nuances of articulation on the instrument. The microstructure determines the further course of his composition, revealing new thinking in harmony. The motives for writing works and the source of his dramatism was the intensity of life and the tension of internal experiences and frenetic times.

Beneš's work shows a unique relationship to Renaissance and Baroque music (Music for J. S. per orchestra), but does not attempt to present a synthesis of contemporary and early music, but instead uses compositional techniques of implanting old principles in new thinking. In the song cycle Il sogno di Poppea he enters into a direct dialogue with the Monteverdi opera. In the music, form reaches for historical musical types (6 Dances; Three Monodies; O virtù mia, concert aria; Canzona). Since the second half of the 1970s his music leans toward modality, first in linear thinking, then penetrating also into harmony.

A significant part of his work are operas and vocal works. In them he presents a distinctive and unique concept of depersonalization, anti-psychologically rendering the characters and plot in a Slovak context, in which the self develops an epic storyline and musical course.”


(KAJANOVÁ, Yvetta: Juraj Beneš. In: 100 slovenských skladateľov. Ed. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar. Bratislava: Národné hudobné centrum, 1998, p. 41 – 42.)