Iris Szeghy was born into a Hungarian family in Prešov (Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia). She studied composition and piano at the Conservatory in Košice (1971-76), later composition at the Music Academy in Bratislava (1976-81), she finished it with the highest recognition. At the Music Academy Bratislava she did her doctoral degree from composition (1986-89). In 1984-86 she was a scholar of the Music Fund in Bratislava, in 1992-93 a resident composer at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. For shorter-term scholarships she traveled to Budapest (1989) and Warsaw (1991), in 1994 she was a „visiting composer“ at the University of California at San Diego, in 1995 at the STEIM Studio in Amsterdam and a „composer in residence“ at the State Opera in Hamburg . In 1999 she spent a year at the Künstlerhäuser Worpswede in Germany, in 2001 and 2002 a couple of months in the Künstlerhaus Boswil and in Stein am Rhein in Switzerland. In the last years she had composition residencies in the artistic colonies in Willisau (CH, 2009) and in Mojácar (E, 2010), in the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (2011/12), in the Landis & Gyr Atelier in London (2013/14) and Budapest (2016). Iris Szeghy lives as a freelance composer in Zurich, Switzerland.
Szeghy writes orchestral, chamber and vocal music, her pieces were/are performed and broadcast in many countries of Europe, in America, Asia and Australia. Till now she has had portrait-concerts of her works in Stuttgart, San Diego, Hamburg, Bremen, Dublin, Lucerne, Berne, Zurich, Basel, received composition commissions e.g. from the Bratislava Music Festival, Melos-Ethos Festival in Bratislava, more times from the Pro Helvetia Cultural Foundation in Switzerland, from the Hilliard Ensemble and from many other music festivals, institutions, ensembles and performers all around the world. In 2007 she obtained the Musical Award of the Kanton Zurich for her compositional work, in 2010 the Zollikon Art Prize in Switzerland, in 2014 the “Werkjahr” of the City of Zurich. In 2001 there was published her first portrait-CD by the Hastedt Verlag Bremen in cooperation with the Radio Bremen in Germany; in 2008 her second portrait-CD was published by the Musiques Suisses/Grammont in Switzerland; in 2018 her third portrait-CD was published by the label Diskant in Slovakia.