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KLASSZ Talents 2012 finally found

The joint scholarship programme of The Liszt Academy of Music and Hungarofest is to forward carriers of János Balázs Jr., Emőke Baráth, Dániel P. Szabó, Csaba Szegedi and the In Medias Brass Quintet.

This funding facility was announced for the fourth time this year. Within KLASSZ Talents Programme’s (KTP) framework back in 2009, one could primarily apply for financing their cross-border studies. However, “for during the past few years the Erasmus Programme was offering an easier way for applicants to reach opportunities abroad and acquiring KTP’s grant is always fortuitous anyway, the educational significance of the scholarship has shrunk” – Dr András Batta, Rector of The Liszt Academy declared in Tuesday’s press conference. According to the present conception, after having chosen by Chairman Dr Batta and his board of professionals, young musicians are provided with promotion and concerts. These prove to be necessary for talents as “the years following their graduation are defined in terms of their personal career prospects. The multiple role of The Hungarian Liszt Academy of Music lies in the fact that not only does the school have to support their undergraduates, but it is also supposed to integrate their graduate, gifted musicians into the national image, to introduce them to international concert life, thus enabling them to pursue their careers in a way that their excellence deserves”, highlighted the Rector.

The Academy’s collaborative project with Hungarofest involves creating a career office which is dedicated to the above goals in an institutionalised form. According to a further plan, once the ongoing restoration works in the Ferenc Liszt Square are over, they will officially open the new Academy building with a gala concert on 22nd October 2013. This ceremony will deliver the chance for outstanding young artists to show their inherent brilliance.

Mónika Balatoni, Creative and Strategic Director of Hungarofest Non-profit Ltd. KLASSZ Music Office holds that the primary objective of the KLASSZ Talents Programme is not to tempt those young artists already giving concerts abroad into returning to their homeland, but to provide a wide range of concert opportunities for them in Hungary. Naturally enough, it will be occasionally accompanied by international appearances. “As a support, we guarantee these gifted young performers an introductory material with a related bilingual promotional CD in English and in Hungarian that together represent such a high standard that will open the door to concert organisers and managers. With these portfolios they can start self-management until an impresario joins”, the director added. The freshly spotted talents are giving a gala concert in the ”Millenary on 13th April. In the open spirit of the occasion, all event organisers and press associates are warmly welcomed.

This, however, is not the one and only commitment of Hungarofest today. This year the EUYO (the European Union Youth Orchestra) counted as many as 111 applicants out of whom there were only 36 that managed to get through the preliminary round. The following days will be all-decisive as to whom to participate in the orchestra’ s future work. Moreover, the Hungarian stage of a concert series performed by EUphony Central European Youth Orchestra is also being organised by the music office. It is expected to take place in the Pécs Kodály Centre this fall. The so-called Chocolate Concerts also continue. With respect to their widespread popularity, another venue in Pest, namely the Hungarian Theatre is to connect to the only Buda location in the Millenáris Fogadó (that is, “Millenary” Inn) earlier so as to enrich the list of places that help host this free-of-charge familiar sequence. On the other hand, Soundquest Music Industry Trade Show and Exhibition, held on the two successive days of 19-20th May, is displayed as a new project on Hungarofest’s offer. During the various concerts, instrumental showcases and silent room programmes visitors of the demonstration can get acquainted with – among others, classical and folk – music instruments. In András Batta’s view, this type of initiation can lead to a positive change in the attitude towards music since it focuses public attention on high-level junior training as well as on the spontaneous joy of harmonies much rather than on a competitive acquisition of technical skills. To broaden our experiences having gained in the vortex of impressions around the 2011 jubilee even further, he finally turned to a musical performance well worth visiting. This Closing Concert of the Liszt Memorial Year will be held on 31st March and it serves as a landmark in the transition from the 2012 Kodály to the 2013 Lajtha Anniversary.

Now then, what is known about the KLASSZ talents themselves? We do know the facts of the recent career of our winners, except for Dániel P. Szabó now, until the end of 2011. We also know that our correspondents even made a video report on the In Medias Brass Quintet and that we managed to get János Balázs Jr. to give us an interview after winning Third prize at the Budapest International Piano Competition in Memoriam Ferenc Liszt last year.

Fidelio – 13th March 2012