I am not exaggerating when I say that, whatever I achieved as a musician, I owe more to Leó Weiner than to anyone else. ... To me, he remains an outstanding example of what a musician should be.

Sir Georg Solti

A Hundred Years of Compositions and Different Genres on Hungarian Classical Music Day

25 May 2023

Liszt Academy and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gábor Káli will pay tribute to the memory of Zoltán Kocsis and to Hungarian classical music and its composers at their traditional gala evening on 30 May in the Grand Hall.

The late Zoltán Kocsis, one of the most important figures in Hungarian music over the last five decades, has created a tradition of giving a charity concert on his birthday on 30 May every year, inviting his fellow musicians and friends to join him in chamber music. This tradition was revived in 2021 by his alma mater, Liszt Academy and the National Philharmonic Orchestra, which he led for almost 20 years, when the two founded Hungarian Classical Music Day, which was joined by numerous ensembles and institutions.

This year's gala concert on 30 May in the Grand Hall of Liszt Academy will be as diverse as ever, with a programme selection of works spanning more than a century and a variety of genres.

László Dubrovay's Symphony No. 6 ("Spring"), originally written for concert wind orchestra in 2009, will be performed, followed by a symphonic version.

It is followed by György Ligeti's early composition Concert Românesc, written in 1951, which testifies to both the then-aspiring composer's enthusiasm for Romanian folk music and his respect for Bartók's art.

Debussy's 1894 cycle Images (oubliées) is not a Hungarian work, however, it became all the more loved by Hungarian audiences after Zoltán Kocsis had orchestrated the two outer of the three movements originally written for piano (the middle movement, Sarabande, was arranged by Ravel in 1923). This performance of the cycle is a tribute to Kocsis's much-admired universal knowledge.  

Finally, Leó Weiner's Hungarian Folk Dances suite will be performed: the work not only captivates us with its elegance, but also reminds us that Weiner's works still have to receive well deserved attention as he is to this day in the shadow of two Hungarian contemporary giants, Bartók and Kodály.

The conductor of the concert is Gábor Káli, an outstanding talent of the young Hungarian generation, who has enjoyed considerable success in recent years both at home and abroad.