Gábor Tarján (1967, Budapest) received a Bachelor of Music degree with honours in Percussion Performance from the University of Toronto in 1990. His teachers there included Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engelman. After his studies, Tarján was invited to spend 6 months as an “artist-in-residence” at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 1991, he continued his studies at the Utrecht Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands where he was awarded an honours Performance Diploma with special distinction for theatrical qualities. He has studied tabla with Sandip Bhattacharya and frame drumming with Glen Velez.
Gábor Tarján is active as a composer, percussionist and actor and sometimes all three at once. Since 1994, Gábor has been musical director and composer of Het Filiaal Theatermakers a theatre company known for its adventurous use of (live) music and visual effects. In February 2006, Tarján performed and conducted his own music in Baron Rabinovitsj for two weeks on Broadway at the New Victory Theater. Baron Rabinovitsj has also been presented in Hong Kong, Cleveland and California. Tarján performed the world premiere of a 70-minute piece for solo tympanist, Om mij mijzelf met mijn aan mezelf en mezelf en mijn eigen by the Dutch composer Jan van de Putte who also dedicated the piece to Tarján.
In 2004,Tarján was nominated by the Dutch Society of Composers (Geneco) for the Henriëtte Bosmans Prize for young composers. The International Percussive Arts Society awarded Tarján 2nd prize in their Italian composition competition for his work for solo percussionist, That’s it. His music has been performed by the String Quartet of the Ives Ensemble, Ensemble Insomnio, the Doelen Ensemble, the Helios Choir and Chamber Ensemble, Evergreen Club Gamelan, Arraymusic, Netherlands Wind Ensemble and YO! Opera Festival and by international jazz artists such as Rembrandt Frerichs, Dimitar Bodurov, Sandip Bhattacharya, Frans Cornelissen and tap dancer Peter Kuit. In 2016, Jimisme commissioned by soprano Andrea van Beek was premiered at the Rotterdam Operadagen; Latitude/Longitude for harp and percussion commissioned by DuoHarpverk and the NFPK premiered in Reykjavik, and the String Quartet of the Ives Ensemble performed and recorded Tarjan’s music for the theatre production, SPOOR. Tarján has been a guest teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory, the HKU Faculty of Theatre and CODARTS.