Hungarian National Choir

Our memebers, our history


Artistic direction

Csaba Somos
choirmaster
Zoltán Kocsis-Holper
assistant choirmaster,
section leader (bass)

Répétiteur

Dóra Bizják
répétiteur

Administration

Tóth Antal
manager
Mukli Gyula
chor secretary
Erzsébet Dochnál
music sheet keeper
Ágnes Bálint
female choir stage manager
Péter Gergely
male choir stage manager

soprano

Andrea Fekete
soprano, section leader
Ágnes Bálint
soprano
Mónika Budai-Langermann
soprano
Márta Csikós
soprano
Eszter Dóri
soprano
Katalin Hilczmayer
soprano
Edit Károly
soprano
Katalin Kazai
soprano
Anikó Kemenyeczky
soprano
Judit Király
soprano
Erika Kovalik
soprano
Ágnes Kristófi
soprano
Gabriella Marton
soprano
Márta Murányi
soprano
Márta Oláh
soprano
Andrea Pintes
soprano
Erika Somogyi
soprano
Ágnes Szalai
soprano
Gabriella Szalai-Illés
soprano
Judit Szántó
soprano
Edit Szappanos
soprano
Katalin Szarka-Sipos
soprano
Cecília Széll
soprano
Miklósné Végső
soprano
Gertrúd Wittinger
soprano

alto

Andrea Aliz Kiss
alto, section leader
Kornélia Bakos
alto
Zsuzsa Barlay
alto
Emese Boros
alto
Enikő Derzsi-Pap
alto
Tünde Estefán
alto
Márta Fülöp
alto
Dóra Galgóczy-Boros
alto
Katalin Halmosi
alto
Julianna Hiszem
alto
Beáta Karácsonyiné Müller
alto
Hilda Klinger
alto
Andrea Lehőcz
alto
Eszter Puskás
alto
Pálné Regenhart
alto
Csilla Saárossy
alto
Katalin Silló
alto
Katalin Tóth
alto
Renáta Tóth
alto
Borbála Tóth-Kiss
alto
Judit Varga-Szathmáry
alto

tenor

István Viszló
tenor, section leader
Lajos Bella
tenor
Sándor Boros
tenor
István Bundovics
tenor
József Csernus
tenor
Zoltán Czier
tenor
Jenő Dékán
tenor
Sándor Fogarassy
tenor
Zoltán Gavodi
tenor
Péter Gergely
tenor
András Hajnal
tenor
László Kálmán
tenor
Viktor Korbász
tenor
Tibor Kun
tenor
Gyula Mukli
tenor
András Regenhart
tenor
László Tóth
tenor
Ferenc Tőkés-Bodor
tenor
Donát Varga
tenor

bass

Zoltán Kocsis-Holper
bass, section leader
Pál Bencsik
bass
Gyula Berényi
bass
Ákos Borka
bass
Zsombor Cserményi
bass
Gergely Domján
bass
Balázs Faragó
bass
István Gáspár
bass
Zoltán Gradsach
bass
László Hatvany
bass
Dániel Kelemen
bass
Árpád Bence Labant
bass
László Ladjánszki
bass
László Mokán
bass
Péter Pásztor
bass
Sándor Pásztor
bass
Dömötör Pintér
bass
György Silló
bass
Mátyás Tóth Pál
bass
Imre Végh
bass

Our history

The Hungarian National Choir was founded in 1985, as the Hungarian State Choir, under the leadership of composer/choirmaster Miklós Pászti. The first great era in the ensemble’s history began in 1990, when the founding choirmaster’s death led to Mátyas Antal taking up the post, which he held until 31 March 2016. Over the course of that more than a quarter of a century, the ensemble became Hungary’s leading professional choir, known for its performances of vocal compositions accompanied by orchestra, oratorios and a cappella works.

Accordingly, its repertoire is extremely rich and open in every direction, encompassing the early Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz, Bach, the Viennese Classical School, and the composers of the 19th and 20th centuries and of today, without prejudice to genre.

Csaba Somos has served as the ensemble’s artistic director since 1 January 2016.

In addition to performing concerts in Hungary, the ensemble regularly accepts invitations to appear abroad, having sung in numerous nations in Europe, as well as in Israel and Japan. They also regularly visit communities with ethnic Hungarian populations in the countries that neighbour Hungary.

The Hungarian National Choir places great emphasis on performing contemporary works, along with the 19th-century oratorios that are so prominent in their repertoire. They have been credited with numerous world and Hungarian premières, including those of Zoltán Jeney’s oratorio Funeral Rite and György Kurtág’s composition Songs of Despair and Sorrow – the latter of which is considered by many to be one of the most difficult pieces in the choral literature. However, their repertoire also extends to works by Tamás Beischer-Matyó, Zsolt Durkó, Kamilló Lendvay, György Ligeti, György Orbán, Emil Petrovics, József Soproni, Sándor Szokolay, Péter Tóth and János Vajda. In conjunction with this, the ensemble have also sung on recordings of works by several contemporary composers, such as Lajos Huszár, Miklós Csemiczky, Attila Bozay, László Király, Máté Hollós and József Sári.

The choir regularly collaborates on the Hungarian National Philharmonic’s summer Beethoven series in Martonvásár and plays a prominent role in the orchestra’s family matinee concert series, as well as in the Bartók New Series that first began development in 2006 under the artistic leadership of Zoltán Kocsis.  The Hungarian National Choir is also a reliable partner to the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra in its artistic efforts to bring works that are undeservedly absent from the established repertoire to the audience. This category includes compositions by Britten, Debussy, Enescu, Janáček and Ravel. Not only did the choir serve as the chorus in the Hungarian National Philharmonic’s highly acclaimed series of productions of the operas of Richard Strauss, several of its members also took the stage as soloists. Another of the choir’s notable accomplishments of recent years was its participation in the production of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron that was conducted by Kocsis, who also completed the score. In addition to performing the traditional oratorio repertoire, they have also sung in such important but rarely heard works as the immense choral symphonies of Mahler, Bruckner’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus oratorio and The Legend of St. Elizabeth. The Hungarian National Choir is also regularly invited to participate in the massive Budapest Wagner Days festival that is organised at Müpa Budapest each year.

Over the past 30 years, the choir has worked with such excellent conductors as Antal Doráti, Péter Eötvös, Ádám Fischer, Lionel Friend, János Fürst, Lamberto Gardelli, Zsolt Hamar, Sebastian Weigle, János Kovács, György Lehel, András Ligeti, Ervin Lukács, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, Bertrand de Billy, Rico Saccani, Yuri Simonov, Carlo Montanaro, Krzysztof Penderecki, Tamás Vásáry and Zoltán Kocsis.