PAST EVENT: Hungarian Folk Music Ensemble Muzsikás Concert at the Embassy

Publicated on: February 1, 2012

Perhaps the world’s most admired Hungarian folk music ensemble and the first group to popularize their country’s traditional music, Muzsikás gave a unique performance at the Embassy of Hungary on Thursday, February 23, 2012, 7pm.

Admission is free, but your donations are most appreciated, suggested amount: $20.

They also gave a performance titled 'The Routes and Roots of Bartók' at the Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, Febrary 22, 2012, 7:30pm.

Please click here for more information about their Carnegie Hall concert.

After 35 years of their unrivaled career and winning the WOMEX Award in 2008 for World Music, MUZSIKÁS is the most renowned and popular Hungarian folk music ensemble worldwide and in their home-country as well. MUZSIKÁS pioneered the global acceptance of Hungarian folk music that is now equal with all the other styles of music. Due to their unique musical skills, instrumental knowledge and musical versatility, they can cope with playing on different music scenes, collaborating with various noted musicians and groups, from folk and world-music to classical and jazz, and even to alternative rock music (they played in live with Woven Hand in 2008). They have toured all over the world including nearly every European country, in addition to North-America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. They have already presented their exceptional live performances at the greatest festivals and in the most significant concert halls, such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Center and Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Théatre de la Ville and Cité de la Music in Paris, Santa Cecila Academy in Rome, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Carnegie Hall in New York.

As the first Hungarian folk ensemble accepted by the classical music scene, they combined traditional music with the classical compositions of Bartók, Kodály, Kurtág and Ligeti. They achieved to fuse 20th century Hungarian classical and traditional Hungarian folkmusic, hereby, saved for the future generations, the heritage of Bela Bartok, the greatest Hungarian composer and collector of traditional music. Their long-lasting partner musicians were a viola-player, bagpiper, vocalist-violinist, Sándor Csoóri Jr., one of the founders of the group, and a female folk vocalist Márta Sebestyén. Nowadays, they perform together with a fabulous female vocalist, Maria Petras and a folk dance couple, Zoltán Farkas and Ildiko Tóth. MUZSIKÁS‘ musical collaborations include solists like Alexander Balanescu, Roel Dieltiens, Jenő Jandó, Mihály Dresch, string quartets chamber like Takács Quartet, Keller Quartet, Bartók Quartet; choirs and symphonic orchestras such as Pro Musica Girls' Choir, Tomkins Vocal Ensemble and The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The London Sinfonietta Orchestra and The Danubia Symphony Orchestra; and folk musicians and ensembles such as Palatkai Banda, Fodor Sandor Neti, Gheorghe Covaci Cioata (Romania). MUZSIKÁS’ music appears in the film of the Oscar winner director Costa Gavras, "Music Box" that also received the first prize at the Berlin film festival in 1989. They have provided the music for a contemporary dance piece titled "Dancing Room" which was performed in several theaters in England and filmed by BBC. Amongst various prizes, they were awarded the most respected Hungarian State award for artists, the Kossuth Prize, the Prima Primissima Award and in 2008 they received the prestigious WOMEX Award for World Music as well. In the 2011 concert season they will appear at the Royal Festival Hall in the concert-series of Infernal Dance organised by Philharmonia London Orchestra honouring the great composer Béla Bartók.

MUZSIKÁS is a name given to musicians playing traditional folk music in Hungarian villages. Their performance is an exciting musical experience where the audience is transferred back to the remote Hungarian village atmosphere where traditions survived through the centuries. Members of the group play and improvise in the style of the old traditional Hungarian folk bands in which the solo violin and the song typically were accompanied by the three-stringed viola and the contrabass. The music of MUZSIKÁS can be characterized as the traditional arrangements of authentic Hungarian folk music featuring a style that is typical of the best village musicians. It has nothing in common stylistically with the Gypsy-Hungarian style, but is rather the true folk music of Hungary, the most beautiful melodies of which were considered by Béla Bartók to be equal with the greatest works of music. MUZSIKÁS’ new DVD Allegro Barbaro was realeased in 2008.

The musicians:

Mihály Sipos - violin, citera

László Porteleki - violin, koboz, vocal

Péter Éri - kontra, viola, mandolin, flute, long flute

Dániel Hamar- contrabass, gardon, drum, cymbal

For more information, please visit the website of MUZSIKÁS.