The Talent Prize of the Cziffra Festival was conferred upon two students of the Liszt Academy, the pianist Fülöp Ránki and the violinist Ernő Kállai, while the Young Talent Prize for especially gifted musicians under 18 went to Dorina Fanni Kokics from the Bartók Conservatory. The Honorary Life Award was granted to the pianist Tamás Vásáry and the cellist and concert organiser László Jakobi. The prizes were conferred by the conductor Ádám Medveczky and the founder of the festival, the pianist János Balázs.
The Cziffra Festival is an event that connects the past, the present and the future – suggested Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog. He pointed out that Georges Cziffra’s life conveys the message that there is a way out no matter how extreme is the poverty one is born in: culture and music can lift anyone up from its depths. The minister added that the founder of the festival, János Balázs had a quality that definitely made him similar to Georges Cziffra: the search for and support of young talents. Zoltán Balog also informed the audience that the new cultural centre hosting Roma cultural events in Budapest’s 8th district would be named after Georges Cziffra.
János Balázs emphasised that Cziffra’s perseverance and personal attitudes and conduct made him a role-model for all of us. The founder of the festival identified talent search and support as the primary goal of the event, for also Georges Cziffra himself had launched the careers of numerous gifted young musicians by granting them opportunity to become visible.
The Cziffra Festival, which has taken place for the second time this year, welcomed music-lovers at eight concerts at two venues: at the Liszt Academy and the MOM Cultural Centre. János Balázs also disclosed that in 2021, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Georges Cziffra, a large-scale festival world tour would be taking place.
Among others, the six-day event welcomed on the stage the opera singer Andrea Rost, the pianists Fazil Say and Jenő Jandó, the CZF Chamber Orchestra, the violinist Félix Lajkó, the Sárközy Gypsy Band, the Peter Sarik Trio as well as the lecture by the Széchenyi Award-winning neurobiologist, Tamás Freund.
At the gala concert on Sunday, the cellist Mischa Maisky, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and the pianist János Balázs interpreted the works of Tchaikovsky, Bruch and Chopin. Also among the audience were the President of Hungary, János Áder and his spouse.