Erőd studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with Pál Kadosa (piano) and Ferenc Szabó (composition). He emigrated to Austria in 1956 and studied there at the Vienna Music Academy, with Richard Hauser (piano) and Karl Schiske (composition). He took several summer classes at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, studying with Eduard Steuermann and Luigi Nono. In 1960 he launched a career as a pianist. From 1962 to 1968 he was solo répétiteur at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Wiener Festwochen. From 1967 to 1989 he taught music theory and composition at the Graz Musikhochschule, and later taught at the Vienna Music Academy. His students have included Rudolf Hinterdorfer, Georg Friedrich Haas and Gerhard Präsent.
From 2004 to 2009 he was a teacher at Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Since 2009 he is a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Fine Arts (Széchenyi Irodalmi és Művészeti Akadémia).
Erőd's life had early tragedies, particularly his brother and grandparents being murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. He also fled Hungary after the events of 1956. He married in 1969 and has five children. His son, Adrian Eröd, is an opera singer at the Wiener Staatsoper. After the fall of Communism he purchased a farmhouse in Hungary.
Stylistically, Erőd's music was initially influenced by Hungarians such as Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. Before his emigration and during his studies in Vienna, he was interested in the dodecaphony of the "Second Viennese School" and serialism. His wind trio, op. 4 (1957, revised 1987), and his Ricercare ed Aria, op. 11 for wind quartet (1965) are based on twelve-tone scales, also his first opera, Das Mädchen, der Matrose und der Student (The Girl, the Sailor and the Student, 1960). He composed his second opera Die Seidenraupen (The Silkworms) from 1964 to 1968, when it was successfully premiered during the Wiener Festwochen at the Theater an der Wien with singers Jeannette Pilou and Oskar Czerwenka. The composer describes that the work is based on three scales, for the three main characters, which are derived from each other and sometimes combined in a way leading to tonality. His first violin sonata, op. 14 (1969/70), was a return to a "new tonality", incorporating Hungarian and "gypsy" elements. He dedicated Milchzahnlieder (Baby Tooth Songs) for soprano and chamber orchestra, op. 17 (1973), and Krokodilslieder (Crocodile Songs), for baritone and chamber orchestra, op. 28 (1979), to his five children. Erőd composed orchestral works, such as a violin concerto, op. 15 (1973), a viola concerto, op. 30 (1979/80), a cello concerto, op. 80, premiered 2005 at the festival Styriarte, a clarinet concerto, op. 88 (2011), as well as a double concerto for clarinet and bassoon, op. 72 (1999), Soirées imaginaires, op. 38 (1981), the Symphonie "From the Old World", op. 67 (1995). and the 2nd Symphonie, op. 75 (2001).
His chamber music includes three string quartets, op.18, 26 and 78, two string sextets, op. 45 and 68, and Bukolika for chamber ensemble, op. 64 (1994), on Hungarian rural life. His first piano trio, op. 21, was written in 1976, his second trio op.42 in 1982; the two sonatas for violin and piano op.14 (1970) and op.74 (2000) are among the most popular of his works. He composed Lieder, such as Canti di Ungaretti (1988). The song cycle Über die Asche zu singen, op. 65 (1994) reflects his family's persecution when he was a child. In the 1980s and 1990s he was influenced by Jazz and Blues, which shows in his piano concerto, op. 19, in the second piano trio, op. 42 (1981/82), and in the Minnesota Sinfonietta op. 51. Some of his vocal works are most serious, such as the Vier Gesänge, op. 49 (1983), the song cycle Schwarzerde (Black Soil) for baritone and orchestra, op. 49 (1984/85), and the cantata Vox Lucis (Voice of the Light), op. 56 (1988/89).
- 1962: Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Third Prize
- 1970: Österreichischer Staatspreis (National Prize of Austria)
- 1981: Musikpreis des Landes Steiermark (Music Prize of Styria)
- 1986: Prize of the City of Vienna for Music
- 2001: Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria (= 7th Class) 
- 2006: Honorary member of the Österreichischer Komponistenbund (Austrian Composers Association)
- Christian Heindl, "Eröd, Iván". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians online.
- Iván Eröd Österreichischer Komponistenbund (German)
- Iván Eröd Doblinger Musikverlag
- Education music information center austria
- Wien – die Stunde der Komödianten Die Zeit, 14 June 1968
- Struktur und Freiheit in der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts / Zum Weiterwirken der Wiener Schule Hartmut Krones (ed.), Böhlau Verlag Wien (German)
- Milchzahnlieder Österreichischer Komponistenbund (German)
- Programm Musik-Forum München Studio für neue Musik, Tonkünstlerverband München, 2 May 2011
- The 1987 World Book Year Book: The Annual Supplement to the World Book Encycloedia. Chicago: World Book, 1987, p. 259; Krones, Harmut. "Die österreichische Symphonie im 20. Jahrhundert: Idee und Gattung." In Die österreichische Symphonie im 20. Jahrhundert. Wien Köln Weimar: Böhlau, 2005, p. 23.
- Iván Eröd / Werke bei / Music published by Doblinger biography, pictures, excerpts of manuscripts, works, discography, by Doblinger
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1390. Retrieved November 2012.
- Literature by and about Iván Erőd in the German National Library catalogue
- Iván Eröd website
- Iván Eröd Steirischer Tonkünstlerbund (German)
- Eröd, Iván Music Information Center Austria
- Iván Eröd Budapest Music Center (Hungarian)
- Holender singt bei Kinderopern- Uraufführung in Staatsoper premiere of children's opera i the Vienna State Opera, 2010