The least important are not forbidden to dream of great things, and even modestly to aim at them, according to the measure of their abilities.

Liszt to Antal Augusz

Classical Music Composition Roadshow: the national program achieved its objective

13 October 2020

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, with the support of Artisjus held composing workshops for high school students in four country towns – three workshops in each town. The most successful works were presented on 2 October at the Liszt Academy.

The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music provides the only accredited higher education in composition in Hungary. In the spring of this year, a university lecturer visited Győr, Szeged, Kecskemét and Miskolc to write new music with the cooperation of teachers in the schools there. The aim of the roadshow was to promote contemporary composition and help create a foundation for future generations in music education. Due to the epidemic, the closing concert had to be postponed, but it finally took place on 2 October in a closed environment, with online coverage from the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy.


Photo: Liszt Academy/Dénes Erdős


"As the world of classical composition is quite Budapest-centric, we wanted to address the Hungarian rural regions as well. We covered the country with the project, and we managed to find the young people who have an affinity for composing", concludes project leader Gyula Fekete, Vice-Rector and Head of the Department of Composition. He adds that very high quality pieces have been created in the course of the year and there seems to be a solid foundation for the next generation of composers. "We can safely say: the initiative has achieved its goal". He emphasizes that they have received extremely positive feedback and will continue to nurture relationships, creating a network with the vocational schools where the workshops were held. Gyula Fekete thanked Artisjus for their support in implementing this programme, organized by the Liszt Academy.

Máté Balogh, a lecturer in the Music Theory Department, visited the Zoltán Kodály primary school of music, grammar school, vocational grammar school and primary school of arts in Kecskemét, where the programme was mentored by Gábor Palotás, the school's percussion teacher. Máté Balogh emphasized that the young people involved could be won over to the cause of composing, and it is a significant attraction that the roadshow closes with a concert at the Liszt Academy, an unforgettable experience for students.


Photo: Liszt Academy/Dénes Erdős


Péter Tornyai, lecturer at the University's Composition Department, held the sessions at the János Richter Secondary School of Music in Győr, and the program was mentored by Attila Reményi, a composition teacher. As Péter Tornyai reported, all the students worked enthusiastically, and even those whose work was ultimately not selected produced high quality, but they undertook too much work that could not be completed in the allotted time.

The events in Szeged were held by Balázs D. Kecskés, lecturer at the Composition Department, at the SZTE István Vántus Secondary School of Music, and dr. Mária Illés mentored the program on behalf of the school. Balázs D. Kecskés feels that the workshop also had an impact on those who did not end up being selected for the gala performance. The electroacoustic music training course by Andrea Szigetvári and Szabolcs Kerestes, both lecturers of the Liszt Academy, also took place in Szeged.


Photo: Liszt Academy/Dénes Erdős


Ákos Zarándy, teacher of composition and solfège at the Bartók Conservatoire, held classes at the Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music and Dance in Miskolc, with the local help of music history and tutoring teacher Antal Flach. According to Ákos Zarándy, most of the students adapted nicely to the classical rules, which is especially exciting because none of them have composed before, and he only spoke to them about it for two hours. As he saw it, the participants were seriously motivated by this profession, and he too believed that the goal of the initiative has been achieved.