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Music weekly

Piano Concerto - III. mvt 5'39"

József Balog – piano, Duna Orch., cond. by A. Deák


"The entire piece is characterised by an uninterrupted, rich invention, a brilliant composing technique in terms of both form and scoring, and an obvious “audience-friendly” tone. All of this, consequently, almost predestines the piece for a popularity unusual in the case of contemporary music. This was also supported by the enthusiastic welcome of the premiere.”


World premiere of the Flute Concerto in Győr

Conductor Alastair Willis, composer Levente Gyöngyösi and Gergely Ittzés, flute soloist

We began at least 4 years ago to talk with my friend Gergely Ittzés, world-renowned Hungarian flute player about the idea to compose a new Fulte Concerto for him. 

Now the idea came finally true: however was born a new work with a classical three-movement-structure (quick-slow-quick), but it shows many interesting characteristics. 

First performance of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita in Miskolc

Poster of The Master and Margarita, work of Ágnes Dombovári

Which first performance will take place as a concert

1. The performance

Is this concert performance good or bad for the work? And good or bad for those in the audience, who will hear for the first time every note of a brand new stage work?

I have to confess: I am very happy with this situation. There are many notes in this piece, or rather many-many quick music, and the singers will sing very fast. The poor audience will bombarded with a lot of information – it is probably favourable to not distract its attention for the first time with the stage action too.

Missa Lux et Origo on the CD and concert of Gemma Vocal Ensemble


I am in a very old relationship with Gemma Vocal Ensemble.

Our friendship with this ensemble, founded by former students of Zoltán Kodály Choir School Budapest (leaded by Ferenc Sapszon jr.), began some time in year 1999. Later they performed for the first time two choir works of mine: Surprised at the life (2002), and Te lucis ante terminum (2003). They are characterised by crystal-clear sound and deep spirituality, so I felt myself very happy when their leader, Márton Tóth, just before las Christmas, gave me their new-released CD, containing my work Missa Lux et Origo, at the same time invited me to the album-presenting concert on January 28, 2017.

"I would go if I could go" – world premiere of a new concerto for Hungarian folk instruments and symphony orchestra

Ensemble Muzsikás  - photo: Tamás Opitz

Mint már előző, karácsonyi posztomban említettem, elkészült az Úgy elmennék, ha mehetnék c. concerto népi hangszerekre és szimfonikus zenekarra, amely Keller András ötlete nyomán fogant és szökkent szárba. Január 26.-án lesz a bemutató a Művészetek Palotájában, és íme egy interjú Mona Dániel tollából a Fidelión a mű keletkezéséről.

Rendkívül érdekes kísérletről van szó: a mű (hasonlóképpen, mint az Illés szekerén-szimfónia a klasszikus és a beatzenét,) a népzenét és a klasszikus szimfonikus muzsikát próbálja közös nevezőre hozni.

A feladat több okból sem volt könnyű...

End of 2016: big composition dumping

I would go title page

Nobody said the the life of a composer is easy.

The following works should be ended still this year:

I would go if I could – for Hungarian folk instruments and orchestra. The work was commissioned by András Keller, musical director of Concerto Budapest to their concert together with Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikás (20 minutes);

In te, Domine, speravi – for flute, violoncello, piano and girl's choir. For 70th birthday of world-famous choir conductor Dénes Szabó. It will be performed by István Matúz – flute, Csaba Onczay – violoncello, László Baranyay – piano, and my kind constant creative partner, the Pro Musica Girl's Choir from Nyíregyháza, conducted by Dénes Szabó. All four performers will celebrate recently their 70. birthday (15 minutes);

Iubilate Domino and Super flumina Babylonis – 2 choir pieces for Japanese female choirs (6 minutes);

and the last movement of my musical-opera The Master and Margarita (10 minutes).

50 minutes of music. Not even the craziest workoholic composer is able to overcoom this flood of sounds in one month – and yes, the moment came when I realized that the task is impossible.

Choir festival in Fundão, Portugal


Taking a sudden opportunity, few weeks ago I made a trip to Portugal, for the first time in my life. I worked as jury member at an international choir competition, organized in Fundão

Fundão is located not far from national border with Spain, to north-east from Lisbon. This small city is the home place of composer and conductor Luis Cipriano, who visiting more prestigious choir festivals in the world, felt as duty to found a new festival in his own city, helping with this the development of choral life in Portugal. Of course it's about a quite tiny festival, with altogether 12 choirs and a jury including only 3 members: beside of already mentioned Luis Cipriano the renowned Israeli choir conductor Yuval Ben-Ozer, and myself, the not so old-fashioned choir expert... We had the task to listen to the competition program of choirs coming from very different parts of the world, after which competition the audience could seen a quite unwaited result...

The oratorio Image of God in Palace of Arts Budapest

Géza Szőcs: Liberté 1956

My oratorio Image of God, written for Gábor Hollerung and his Ernő Dohnányi Smyphony Orchestra after Géza Szőcs' drama Liberté 1956, in remembrance of the Hungarian national anticommunist revolution in 1956, first performed in 2006, is going today to be performed again by the same conductor and orchestra.

My relationship with the revolution is quite controversial: while, born in Transylvania, grown up in Ceauşescu's dictatorship, I can completely experience the euphoria of getting free of a crippling, suffocative state order, the heroism of an inequal fight against the communist Goliath, nevertheless I am not so familiar with the affected pathos encompassing this historical episode. 

This discrepancy is evident in Géza Szőcs' serious-dramatic-ironical-frisky texts, and also in music of Image of God, in which could be find many reminiscences: the I. movement (Prophecy) recalls the style of Kodály, the II. movement (The boys of Pest) the stíle of Khatchaturian. The V. movement (Image of God) begins with a choral adaptation in style of Bach, in which the role of choral melody is played by well-known Hungarian church tune Our mother Holy Lady.

Three new choir pieces written

Ave verum corpus

Three new choir pieces are written in the last one-month period. This three pieces this time (differently from the couple Dominus Iesus in qua nocte and Regina cœli) cannot be sung like a cycle – we're talking about very different works.

The first piece is a redult of a wide-range champing: Laudate pueri Dominum is commissioned by not less than 11 choirs from the USA. The starting point of the commission is Kathleen Rodde, professor of Iowa State University – our cooperation has already big and very successful tradition: Iubilate Deo, written for her, succeeded to be after her recommendation compulsory work on Texas All-State Convention, and it was sold in 10.000. exemplars! This actual work is a quick, virtuose piece, in which are playing big role a wide variety of "body hits": clapping, stamping and so on.

Video reports about the Cantemus Choir Festival

Gyöngyösi Levente as jury member on the Cantemus Festival

In the VideoBlog from now can be seen my video report about the XIth Cantemus International Choir Festival in Nyíregyháza, where I worked as member of international jury.

This festival is well-known not about its size, but about its friendliness and its love for common singing - however, its artistic level is also very high. In the international jury could be found Francis Steele, ex-member of the world-famous Tallis Scholars vocal ensemble; Süleyman Tarman, composer and choir conductor, professor of Ankara University; Emőke Solymosi-Tari, musicologist, professor of Franz Liszt Music Academy; Dénes Szabó, founder-director of Cantemus Choral School, as well as myself.

In the video report Soma Szabó, one of the artistic directors of the festival, speaks about the character and environment of the event. You can see excerpts from the foklore evening organized in Kossuth Square, Nyíregyháza, as well from the apex of the festival: the choir competition. You can also find out, who is the winner of the Grand Prix of the festival.

Cantemus Choir Festival as jury member

Poster of the festival

This summer everything seems to going about choir festivals and workings as jury member: this time in Nyíregyháza, on the Cantemus International Choir Festival, organized between August 15-22, in company of such great people, like 

Francis Steele (England), ex-singer of Tallis Scholars

Süleyman Tarman (Turkey), conductor and composer; 

Emőke Solymosi-Tari (Hungary), professor of musicology in the Franz Liszt Music Academy, Budapest, and

Dénes Szabó, one of the greatest choir conductors of our time, Honored Artist of Hungary.