Béni Egressy

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The native form of this personal name is Egressy Béni. This article uses the Western name order.
Béni Egressy

Béni Egressy (born Galambos Benjámin, 21 April 1814 - died in Sajókazinc, 17 July 1851) was a Hungarian composer, librettist, translator and actor. He created a number of popular melodic compositions, including the one to Mihaly Vorosmarty's patriotic poem Szózat.[1] He also authored texts to the opera Hunyadi László by Ferenc Erkel.


Egressy was born in 1814 in Sajókazinc, today a part of Kazincbarcika, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary, to a Protestant pastor.

He entered the stage in 1834, like his older brother Gábor Egressy, and in 1837 became a member of the national theatre in Prague. During the revolution of 1848, he took part in the fighting and became a member of the Hungarian Honvéd resistance. After the rebellion, he received amnesty and returned to the stage.


Egressy was more notable for his acting rather than his compositions. Nevertheless, he composed music for "The Szózat", a famous poem by Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty. The song later became the unofficial "second Hungarian national anthem", besides the Himnusz. His musical works are characterised by a wealth of melodies, having many of the attained great popularity in his homeland.

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  1. ^ Hamilton, Kenneth (2005). The Cambridge companion to Liszt. Cambridge University Press. p. 107.