“Our days abound with problems and trouble but we – Angelica Girls’ Choir and me – are helped by Kodály Zoltán’s heritage. His practical instructions have become artistic activities and standard. His theories on education are ours…”
(Zsuzsanna Gráf – 2009 – being awarded by the Hungarian National Heritage Award)
Angelica Girls’ Choir was founded in 1989 by Zsuzsanna Gráf, who has been leading and conducting the choir since then. The choir members are current and former students of Városmajori Secondary School, Budapest.
The former students attend different universities in Budapest. In the past 25 years the choir has performed at a great number of concerts, festivals and choir competitions promoting the choir pieces of Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók and contemporary Hungarian composers. Contemporary Hungarian composers have key roles in the repertoire of Angelica Girls’ Choir. Presenting and endearing contemporary music pieces resulted in the friendship of famous and outstanding Hungarian contemporary composers (Erzsébet Szőnyi, Miklós Kocsár, Boldizsár Csíky, György Orbán, Péter Tóth, Levente Gyöngyösi). Angelica Girls’ Choir premiered several of their music pieces at concerts and festivals.
The choir has participated in numerous choir competitions with tremendous success. They came first in the international choir competitions of Debrecen (Hungary), Arezzo and Rome (Italy), Neerpelt (Belgium), Tolosa (Spain) and Cork (Ireland). They won the gold medal in the 10th Choir Olympics in Athens (Greece). Furthermore, they toured in North- and South America, Japan and Europe. They sang in the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris), Saint Peter’s Cathedral (Rome), Saint Michael’s Cathedral (Brussels) and in the European Parliament. They are regular participants of the Spring Festivals, Budapest, they sing in prestigious concert halls (the Concert Hall of the Academy of Music, Budapest Music Centre, Palace of Arts, Festetics Palace) and in the greatest churches of Budapest (Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Matthias Church). Angelica Girls’ Choir gives concerts with outstanding musicians and orchestras, such as Andrea Vígh, Gergely Bogányi, Ildikó Cserna, Budapest Festival Orchestra, The Symphonic Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio, Dohnányi Orchestra, Danubia Orchestra, Budapest String Orchestra and Honvéd Choir. The voice of the choir is preserved through radio and television recordings and they have released seven Cds.
In 2009 Angelica Girls’ Choir was honoured with the Hungarian Heritage Award; in 2013 they were awarded Junior Prima Award, and PRIMA Award in 2014.
The leader and conductor of the choir, Zsuzsanna Gráf, is a prominent musician, who has been given Artisjus Award three times. Moreover, she was awarded Liszt Ferenc Award in 2007, the Hungarian Heritage Award in 2009, Bartók-Pásztory Award in 2013, and, with her choir, PRIMA Award in 2014.