Post Tagged with: "Music"

André Watts

André Watts, the African-American and Hungarian concert pianist

As part of our series on lesser known Hungarian Americans we introduce an American superstar, concert pianist André Watts. We feel that this piece is timely since the Orbán government is supporting “ethnic homogeneity” and envisions a white Christian Hungary defending Europe from the “hordes” of Africa and the Middle-East. André Watts is a living legend, a musical virtuoso and […]

by · March 15, 2018 · Diaspora
Scene from the all-white cast Porgy and Bess

Was Gershwin being racist when he insisted on an all-black cast for Porgy and Bess?

Hungarian State Opera director Szilveszter Ókovács thinks that George Gershwin’s all-black cast requirement today is racist. Porgy and Bess was first staged on Broadway in 1935; the music was composed by George Gershwin and the libretto was written by his brother Ira Gershwin in collaboration with DuBose Heyward, who wrote the original story. The authors prescribed an all-black cast for […]

by · February 1, 2018 · Culture
January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

On 22 January 1823 the great poet Ferenc Kölcsey completed the text of the Hungarian National Anthem. Since 1989 this date is celebrated as the National Day of Hungarian Culture and the history of the National Anthem is an example of the country’s diversity. The official music for the anthem was composed by Ferenc Erkel as part of a competition […]

by · January 23, 2018 · Culture
Cover of one of his US recording

Ervin Nyíregyházi – from Hungarian child prodigy to California drifter

We remember Ervin Nyíregyházi, the Hungarian-American pianist and composer. Considered a “lost genius” as he is one of the lesser known or forgotten Hungarian immigrants in North America. Ervin Nyíregyházi was born in 1903 in Budapest. Ervin tried to sing before he was one year old, sang tunes before he was two and was able to play almost every song […]

by · October 11, 2017 · Diaspora
The Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra of Szentegyháza at Niagara Falls.

Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra of Szentegyháza promotes multiculturalism in Canada

Fili is the nickname of the Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra from Szentegyháza (Transylvania, Romania). The orchestra and choir recently toured Canada to honor the country’s 150th anniversary visiting seven cities and giving 11 concerts. The musical group was founded 35 years ago in the ethnic Hungarian-speaking community and gained fame under the direction of Sándor Haáz. In the last decades the […]

by · August 26, 2017 · Culture
Zsuzsa Koncz-. Photo: Balogh Zoltán / MTI.

Zsuzsa Koncz, Hungary’s iconic singer speaks out on not being subservient

Zsuzsa Koncz knows from personal experience what it’s like to be a performer, singer and artist in a dictatorial regime. In 1973, even though Hungary’s Kádár regime was more liberal than any other Eastern bloc country when it came to cultural and artistic expression, Zsuzsa Koncz’s album entitled Jelbeszéd (Sign Language) was suddenly pulled from the shelves of record stores and […]

by · June 7, 2017 · Culture
Palladio Orchestra. Photo: Beatrix Gergely.

Wishing you a Happy New Year with Hungary’s Palladio Orchestra

Budapest-based photographer Beatrix Gergely had the chance to photograph a unique concert held at the Papp László Budapest Sport Arena on December 28th, 2016. The concert featured the Palladio Orchestra–one hundred guitars on stage playing an eclectic range of music, including the works of Beethoven, all the way to theme songs from major films and even music from Queen.  The […]

by · December 31, 2016 · Culture
András Rékay

St. Stephen’s Day celebration at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California

As always, the 59th San Francisco Hungarian National Day celebrations were held in beautiful Golden Gate Park. My wife and I attend every year. Many of you might be surprised to learn that the weather is quite cold in August in the Bay Area. You need a jacket, may not expect much sun; it is mostly foggy in San Francisco, […]

by · September 10, 2016 · Diaspora
Mária Schmidt (left) with Desmond Child (right) at the Budapest House of Terror.  Photo: MTI.

Hungary’s recycled Desmond Child song an embarrassing start to 1956 anniversary

American songwriter Desmond Child’s piece Steps of Champions should have been a major media coup for Hungary’s Orbán government. After all, Desmond Child–an American-Hungarian dual citizen who had worked with music legends such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Ricky Martin and Kiss–had been successfully enlisted by Hungary’s government to write the official anthem of the sixtieth anniversary commemorations […]

by · August 20, 2016 · Focus
Placido Domingo and Viktor Orbán.

Meet Placido Domingo’s new friends – Europe’s authoritarian leaders

We all know and admire the art of Maestro Placido Domingo, the great opera singer, conductor and musical director. He was born in Spain, raised in Mexico; his singing career blossomed in the United States and continued in Europe. The 75-year old is well known in Budapest, he visited Hungary several times and the Maestro even considered bringing Ferenc Erkel’s […]

by · August 10, 2016 · Politics