• 1885 – 1889

    Grammar School in Banská Bystrica

  • 1889 – 1893

    Teacher' Institute in Banská Štiavnica

  • 1893

    teacher in Pilis (Hungary)

  • 1893 – 1895

    teacher in Ostrá Lúka

  • 1895 – 1902

    teacher in Zvolenská Slatina

  • 1903 – 1906

    teacher in Padina (Yugoslavia)

  • from 1907

    lived in Banská Bystrica, worked at the protestant school

  • 1911 – 1914

    Music Academy in Budapest

  • 1921

    obtained employment at the Teachers' Institute in Banská Bystrica, also worked as a choirmaster, organist and conductor

"Figuš-Bystrý devoted himself to the collection of Slovak folklore songs which he transcribed everywhere he taught. In Banská Bystrica he revived the musical life of the city, founded the Evangelical community choir and musical lessons, and worked as a conductor, performer, accompanist and composer of chamber music. Between 1922-24 he wrote an opera Detvan from which excerpts were performed by the Orchestra of Prague Conservatory with conductor Václav Talich. The opera was accepted by Oskar Nedbal for performance in the Slovak National Theatre and its premiere took place on April 1st, 1928 in Bratislava. Czech artists expressed particular interest in his compositions created in the years 1932-36. Figuš-Bystrý was by his work very intensively involved in the formation of Slovak national music. He understood Slovak folk songs as the source of specificity in national music. He edited Slovak folk songs into song cycles and collections (Slovak Folk Songs from Zvolenská Slatina for Voice and Piano; 1000 Slovak Folk Songs for Piano and others). In addition to chamber music, at the center of his interest stood lyrical songs. He set to music the lyrics of Slovak poets whose strophic masters helped him to create a musically coherent form and he musically characterized the text by applying inventive melody and neo-romantic harmony. His opera Detvan anticipated later efforts of Slovak music, which matured in 1940s and 1950s and extricated him from a long-term orientation to music micro forms. Among Figuš-Bystrý best musical pieces belong artificial cycles of songs for voice and piano (Sny op. 8 / Dreams, Op. 8; Po poliach a lúkach op. 53 a 83 / Through the Fields and Meadows, Op. 53 and 83; Túžby op. 76 / Desires, Op. 76, Mati moja / Mother of Mine!, Op. 83). As a composer, his work was included among the representatives of the new developmental path in Slovak music."


(MUNTÁG, Emanuel: Viliam Figuš-Bystrý. In: 100 slovenských skladateľov. Ed. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar. Bratislava : Národné hudobné centrum, 1998, p. 93.)