Post Tagged with: "Music"

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
Songs along a Stony Road, a film by George Csicsery about Kallós.

Zoltán Kallós turns 90 years old

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered a congratulatory speech at the gala held on April 23, 2016 in Kolozsvár (Cluj, Romania) to mark Zoltán Kallós’s 90th birthday. (Watch Kallós’s birthday song here.) Kallós is an extraordinary man; a true treasure of Hungarian folk culture. Born in 1926 in an ethnic Hungarian family in Transylvania, Romania, in a small village called […]

by · May 11, 2016 · Culture
Iván Fischer. Photo: Péter Kollányi.

Conductor Iván Fischer pays the price for his criticism of Orbán regime

Hungarians received yet another reminder of the consequences of speaking out against the Orbán regime. The Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFZ), which is known for innovative, even experimental presentations of music, in order to promote what it refers to as “communal creativity, tolerance and equal opportunities,” saw its municipal funding from the Budapest City Council cut by two thirds, from 260 […]

by · May 7, 2016 · Politics
Album cover - Elek Bacsik

Elek Bacsik and Dizzy Gillespie – For the Gypsies

Few have heard about Elek Bacsik, the great Hungarian-American jazz musician who died in 1993 in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He was 73 years old. In 1964, Bacsik made jazz history, when at the Antibes-Juan les Pins (France) festival he collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie, who honored his Roma heritage with a piece entitled For the Gypsies. The […]

by · March 12, 2016 · Culture
Gábor Alfréd Fehérvári (Freddie) will represent Hungary at the Eurovision festival in Stockholm. Photo: Duna TV.

Eurovision 2016 and Hungary — Lost opportunities

Eurovision is the target of much derision in the United Kingdom–a country, which has great, diverse talent, but has essentially no chance of ever winning a music festival that has descended into a trite, flashy circus, catering mainly to eastern European nationalists. Countries with large diaspora or expatriate populations tend to do much better in Eurovision, because voting rules stipulate […]

by · February 28, 2016 · Culture
Iván Fischer

Maestro Iván Fischer to refugees – “Welcome among us”

In Hungary, media has paid little or no attention to a major cultural celebration scheduled for March 1 in Berlin, Germany. The Berliner Philharmoniker, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Staatskapelle Berlin have decided to invite refugees, their families and helpers to a concert entitled, “Welcome among us.” (More about the concert in German here.) The concert will feature the three […]

by · February 20, 2016 · Culture