• 1917 – 1923

    a secondary grammar school and from 1920 also the School of Music in Bratislava (piano – Frico Kafenda)

  • 1927 – 1931

    Music and Drama Academy in Bratislava (composition and piano – Frico Kafenda, conducting – Josef Vincourek)

  • 1931 – 1933

    composition studies at the Master School of the Prague Conservatory (Vítězslav Novák)

  • 1933

    a teacher of theoretical subjects and from 1948 at the Music and Drama Academy in Bratislava (1941 nationalized and renamed to the State Conservatory in Bratislava)

  • 1941 – 1948

    a teacher of composition at the State Conservatory in Bratislava

  • 1948 – 1960

    a teacher and the head of the Department of Music at the University of Education in Bratislava

  • 1963 – 1974

    he lectured on musicology and education at the Philosophical Faculty, Comenius University

"In Slovak music Suchoň’s work is a symbol of extraordinary artistic quality. He was primarily an expressive artist, inspired by lived events and giving them utterance in his music. Despite its undeniable progression, his style is distinguished by constant identifying marks. L. Burlas gave a concise description: “Polarity, created on the one hand by the fevered and ballad-style vision of reality, and on the other by a perspectivist vitality and faith in man and life, is characteristic of Suchoň’s work (...) Suchoň’s culture of speech is as demanding as the poetry of Hviezdoslav; he sees reality in symbolic metaphors and hardness of images like I. Krasko; the mighty power of his expression is as dramatically conceived as the landscapes and figures of Benka. The vision of poverty and menace is as open as Urban’s prose in the years before the regime change; suffering is as powerful as in the graphic art of his contemporary K. Sokol; his faith in justice and a better future is close to that of the revolutionary nation-builders in the period of national and social oppression (...) Again, Suchoň’s music is linked with Slovak music tradition in his closeness to folk music (...) the most essential and most characteristic elements of folk musical thinking are here sublimated and crystallised in a new, though formerly obscured, beauty and potency.” (Burlas, L.: Eugen Suchoň in His Jubilee Year. In: Hudební rozhledy 1958/?, p. 660.).

In Suchoň’s opus-listed work one can see two developmental curves: passage from late romantic chromaticism to a distinctive modality (influenced by characteristic features of the older Slovak folk songs), and later again an inclination to chromaticism, but with a utilisation of dodecaphonic procedures, their vertical resultants, in conjunction with archaic proto-forms of Slovak (in places even Old Slavonic) folk creativity, and this once again on a modal basic. A common feature of both these creative periods is use of the characteristic interval of the older Slovak folk music, the Lydian fourth. Their superposition, however, is different: in the diatonic stage of Suchoň’s work the ideal sound is two tritones at a distance of a major second, in the chromatic phase two tritones at a distance of a minor second. A further common feature of both creative phases is the passage from linear thinking to vertical. Comparison of the two groups of Suchoň’s compositions shows that the composer consciously constructed a multi-formed and yet integral life cycle. Inspired by Emile Zola’s novel cycle Rougon Macquart and Milo Urban’s trilogy Živý bič (The Living Whip), Hmly na úsvite (Dawn Mists) and V osídlach (Ensnared), he created a life-work where pieces that are similar in their instrumentation, often also in duration, and sometimes even in titles, confront one another in the two evolutionary phases:  

String Quartet – Six Compositions for String Quartet (or for String Instruments); Nox et solitudo (songs) – Ad astra (songs); On the Mountains (choral cycle) – On Man (choral cycle); Sonatina for Violin and Piano – Poème macabre for Violin and Piano; Vortex (opera) – Svätopluk (opera); Ballad Suite (piano, orchestra) – Rhapsodic Suite (two pianos, piano and orchestra); Small Suite with Passacaglia (piano, orchestra) – Elegy and Toccata (piano, piano with orchestra); Metamorphoses (piano, orchestra) – Symphonic Fantasia for B A C H (organ and orchestra, organ and piano); Images from Slovakia (instructive cycle) – Kaleidoscope (instructive cycle).

Suchoň was a composer of remarkable, often admirable inventiveness, but still more remarkable for his integral conception. Typical of all of his work is the combination of extra-musical sources with principles of absolute music. Growing out of the struggle of these two opposites, his compositional organism is full of inner tension: agitated phases alternate there with passages of calm relaxation. Suchoň’s works for the most part have the plan of musical dramas. Not satisfied with his first idea, he thoroughly fashioned it and thought it through – he was the thinker-composer type, even though his compositional process was driven by a potent creative passion. One can detect in him an admirable balance between immediate inspiration and its rational completion; that is a typical feature of the greatest artistic geniuses."

(VAJDA, Igor: Eugen Suchoň. In: A Hundred Slovak Composers. Eds. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar. Bratislava : National Music Centre Slovakia, 1998, pp. 262 – 264.)