Non-season ticket concert
The first piece in this concert dedicated to the music of Iván Madarász – RAP-petition – is a true cross-border excursion from the world of classical music to the distant one of rap – distant for both the composer and the young baritone Szilveszter Szélpál, who sings in operas and operettas at the National Theatre of Szeged.
In his work so far, the composer has awarded a distinguished role to the flute, as this is the only instrument for which he has written three concertos. His Episodi concertanti, also known as the Flute Concerto No. 3 is an important milestone on the path that earlier took him to Flautiáda and the Concerto F(L)A. As Kristóf Csengery described the piece, “The principal role goes to the flute, whose part commences soon after the start of the work with extended notes, frullatos, crescendos and rapid gesticulating sections followed by glissandos executed on held notes, indicating that Madarász has capitalised on all of the innovations in writing instrumental music that have been made over the past few decades.” The unique thing about the composition is the fact that, in three clearly differentiated sections, the flute plays duets, as chamber music interludes: first with the oboe, then with the trumpet and finally, with the solo violin. The piece culminates in a slow and poetic part. Enikő Wendler, the soloist of the concerto has been featured on the Virtuosos television talent search programme, then went on to come in second at the Osaka International Music Competition in 2018.
The second half of the concert features the 1985 opera Lot: based on the novella by Karel Čapek, it was commissioned by Hungarian Television. In a departure from the Biblical story, after rescuing his family, Lot returns to Sodom in order to share the fate of the city’s other inhabitants. The main element sustaining the pulse of the music is repetition. Throughout the work, dramatic choruses alternate with solo parts of shocking power. Taking the stage in the title role will be the outstanding lyric baritone Csaba Szegedi.
Iván Madarász was born in Budapest in 1949 and studied music composition and piano at the city’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music under Endre Szervánszky and György Ferenczy, respectively. Early in his career, he worked at the Hungarian State Philharmony and taught at the Liszt Academy’s teacher training institute in Pécs. Since 1980, he has taught at the music academy’s main Budapest campus, where he was appointed a full professor in 2002. He is a founding member of the Hungarian Composers’ Union and does important work as the president of the Society Artisjus (Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors’ Rights). An extraordinarily versatile artist, he composes works in the most diverse variety of genres imaginable, ranging from pieces for solo instrumentalists to operas. He has written oratorios, cantatas, concertos, film music, incidental music and live electronic compositions. His works are marked equally by a manner of thinking that reflects traditions and an experimental bent. His compositions frequently relay thoughts that can also be expressed in words. Madarász’s diverse creative work has been recognised with the Erkel and Bartók–Pásztory awards, the Kossuth Prize and the knight’s cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
Gregory Vajda is a Hungarian conductor, composer and clarinettist. Born in 1973, he studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as the principal conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Szilveszter Szélpál earned his degree in solo voice from the University of Szeged’s Faculty of Music in 2011 after training under Mária Temesi and István Andrejcsik. He has sung at the National Theatre of Szeged since 2009.
Enikő Wendler was nine years old when she started to study the flute under Tünde Kovács Maros at the Győr Music School. At the age of 15, she was admitted to the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna’s programme for extraordinary young talents.
In addition to qualifying as a vocal performer and teacher of solo voice at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Csaba Szegedi also completed the opera course there.
During her years studying at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Andrea Meláth received many opportunities to perform concerts both in Hungary and abroad. She has also appeared in several premières at the Hungarian State Opera – of which the most important in her career was her portrayal of Masha in Péter Eötvös’s opera Three Sisters.
Tünde Szabóki obtained her degree qualifying her as a piano teacher from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music’s Budapest Teacher Training Institute in 1989, before spending two more years there in the voice course.
Gabriella Létay Kiss studied voice at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and graduated in 1999. In 2000, she won first prize in Hungarian Radio’s singing competition.
Atilla Kiss B. made his début in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in 1992, after graduating from the city’s Gheorghe Dima Music Academy.
Gergely Boncsér he signed with the Hungarian State Opera as a soloist in 2008 and has been a member of the Budapest Operetta Theatre since 2009 as well.
At the Hungarian State Opera, István Kovács has played such roles as Walter, Raimondo, Sarastro, Bluebeard and Don Giovanni.
István Viszló is a member of the Hungarian National Choir, as well as a section leader and voice coach there. He earned his degrees in Pécs and Miskolc under the guidance of Katalin Schultz, Atilla Kiss B. and Bernadett Wiedemann.
Jenő Dékán is a member of the Hungarian National Choir. He graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music’s Budapest Teacher Training Institute in 2010 with a degree qualifying him as a teacher of solo voice and as a vocal and chamber performer.
Kornélia Bakos is a member of the Hungarian National Choir and a soloist of the Hungarian State Opera House. She made her first dramatic appearance in the summer of 2003 as Caesar in Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare.
András Káldi Kiss completed the opera course at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1993 and has since gone on to make guest appearances in places as far away as Japan and Toronto.
The Hungarian State Opera's Children's Chorus, founded by Valéria Botka and László Csányi, has been operating in its current form since 1970. The 130-member ensemble has been led by Nikolett Hajzer since August 2016.
The Hungarian National Choir (originally called State Choir) was founded in 1985. Between 1990 and 2016 it was headed by Mátyás Antal, who was succeeded by Csaba Somos on 1 January 2016.