Should professional dancers be allowed to perform at festivals for amatuers? Szigetvári József thinks not, except if the festival (juried competition) is strictly one for choreography. This has become more and more of a question of late amongst dancers, dance groups and organizers of such dance festivals in Hungary. Opinions, arguments and further discussion on this matter are invited and will appear in the next issue of folkMAGazin.
In Dec. '99, Budapest's Bartók Ensemble went to Brussels to perform in series of performances with a Belgian group called the Hourvari Ensemble. A dancer from the Bartók Ensemble, Gordos Anna, offers a few thoughts from the experience. The hosting Belgian group danced Hungarian dances, but none of the dancers were Hungarian. Anna remarks about the group „...they take such an enthusiastic interest in the customs of another nationality...... accepting everyone as equals.. ..instead of looking for things that make them different, they look for things that bring people together...". She goes on to say „...this Western European attitude, born of tolerancy is something we still have to learn...".
Conversation with musician and music teacher Kobzos Kiss Tamás about his five day study trip to Scotland in the fall of '99. During his stay in Edinburgh he was able to collect quite a bit of information on how traditional and folk music is taught in Scotland, learn more about revival type movements there, and attend some social music and/or dance events (ceilidh, as sembly rooms, pubs). By Záhonyi András
By the end of March, the Tükrös Ensemble will have released a new CD of Hungarian traditional music of Szat már County from the 1900's. On this CD the band plays their favorite tunes from this particular part of Northeastern Hungary: tunes they have learned directly from musicans there, as well from field recordings of the great village musicians of that area. Árendás Péter's record notes are printed here. (This táncház band from Budapest specializes in traditional village music from Szatmár and Transylvania.)
Peter Amick interviews three members of Gázsa's band, the band that accompanied the Budapest Dance Ensemble on their recent tour of the U.S. and the Ensemble's manager. On foreign soil, in moments of reflection on what they do; some good information and insight on Hungarian music that rarely reaches the printed word, surfaces in this article. I highly recommend looking for it in English (here it has been translated into Hungarian)... See the Hungarian article for website address and name of the publication that the article originally appeared in.
The Bartók Béla Music Conservatory in Miskolc, Hungary is chiefly a music teachers training coll ege. At this school students may choose to specialize in any one of 18 different classical instruments, ecclesiastical music, solfeggio/music theory, or folk music. This is the first year that Hungarian traditional music has been added to the possible areas of specialization. Announcement by Lenkey Csaba, director
"Az Aranykert muzsikája” written by Ág Tibor is the 20th book in a series called the „Csallóköz Library". This most recent volume is on children's folklore and the songs and melodies connected to holidays and customs of this part of south-western Slovakia with a significant Hungarian population. Dance researcher, Takács András recommends this book.
A tale of Fehér Viktor's first attempts at collecting songs in his grandparent's village of Fedémes, trying squeeze a tune out of an old gentleman in a pub....
A book in memory of the well respected composer and conductor Vass Lajos was published early this year entitled „Vass Lajos emlékezet", written by Bónis Ferenc.
Bagpipe, wooden flute player and maker Tobak Ferenc, (who for the past 9 years has been living in the U.S.), has made two trips to Hungarian villages in Romanian Moldavia searching for bagpipe players. These trips have not only uncovered musicians and instruments (Romanian and Hungarian), but an enormous amount of information and lore about this instrument in this part of Romania. Interview by Juhász Katalin. (Names of Hungarians here are left in their native order with the family name preceding the given name.)