- Péter Balassa
(b Gyula, March 6, 1928). Hungarian philosopher and writer on the aesthetics of music. He studied under Georg Lukács at Budapest University, where he took the CSc in philosophy. He was principal research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences until 1972, when he became professor of aesthetics at Budapest University. As secretary to the National Committee of Hungarian Aesthetes he coordinated Hungarian research in aesthetics. The first part of his important book on the history of music aesthetics concentrates on the concept of music in antiquity, during the Enlightenment, and in the work of Hegel; the second deals with the Romantic period. His work, characterized by the interpretative application of Marxist aesthetics and Marxist social philosophy (particularly Lukács’s theory of art), also concerns modern theories of music (e.g. those of Adorno, Eisler and Asaf′yev); his essays on contemporary attitudes to music are focussed on the work of Bartók....