“Folk Music Without Borders” on Hungarian Radio – MR1. This is a 55 minute program broadcast in Hungarian at Hungarian Radio ’prime time’: 1.05 p.m. every Sunday afternoon. The 100th program was recently aired (it started in October 2007). They focus on Hungarian folk music and music of other ethnic groups in the region, but are not limited only to folk music of the region. The program format includes interview with a selected relevant musical guest interspersed with lots of good folk music. It is repeated every Monday night at 11.05 p.m. and can also be accessed on the MR1 website. Program staff : Éri Péter, Vasváry Annamária, Vida Antal, Ménes Ágnes. Report by Henics Tamás.
Report on the 21st Folk Music and Folk Dance Festival that was held in the town of Sepsiszentgyörgy [Sfântu Gheorghe] in Romania on November 13–15, 2009. The event was organized and sponsored by the Lajtha László Foundation and the Háromszék Folk Dance Ensemble with a special theme honoring the memory and music of two traditional musicians from Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania: Berki ‘Árus’ Ferenc and Fodor ‘Neti’ Sándor. The Zurboló, Perkó and Háromszék dance groups performed as well as local tradition preserving groups from six villages in the Kalotaszeg region. A band and two dancers from the village of Szilágysámson [Şamşud] in the Szilágyság region of Western Transylvania were also performing guests. There was an audience of 1110 at the event, with 1300 people who particpated in the program. By Czilli Balázs.
Folk dance performance – 2009 December 14, Millenium Coffehouse, Szeged, Hungary. A small group of 8 dancers and 4 musicians got together to present an unusual and well-recieved program of dances, song and prose from Hungary’s Hortobágy region and the Kalotaszeg and Mezőség regions of Transylvania. See list of dancers and musicians in the Hungarian article. Report by Kukár Barnabás Manó.
Vikár Béla – the Folklorist (Part 1.) Excerpts from the exhibition of photos and documents at the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest from October 2009 until January 2010. The exhibition will be set up again at the Dance House Festival in Budapest March 27–28, 2010. Curators of the exhibition are Pávai István and Sebő Ferenc. It was sponsored by the Hungarian Heritage House and the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography. Vikár Béla was born 150 years ago. He began doing folklore collection work writing down folk tales and songs using shorthand from the end of the 1870’s. He was the first person in Europe to use the phonograph to record folk songs (1896). He recorded Hungarian folk songs and the folk music of other ethnic groups in the Hungarian territory. In this issue are some of Vikár’s own writings about his collection work, his ideas for organization of collections, his time studying in Finland and a letter from his mother telling about her own work collecting folk songs in Somogy County.
5th Wedding Traditions Festival – Földes, Hungary November 27–28, 2009. An important traditional aspect of weddings here is the master of ceremonies – the Vőfély. This is the person who directs and leads the events of the entire wedding with an ongoing banter in traditional verse. Vőfély-s from all over the Hungarian language area meet and are documented at this event each year. This year they celebrated release of a book on the material collected to date at these events. The first in a series: Vőfély Traditions – Hungarian Plains. Published in Hungarian by the Karácsony Sándor Cultural Center, Földes, Hungary. 2009. Report by Juhász Erika.
Literary column. In the short story here, the character ’Keresdi’ contemplates death in two situations: one fresh incident seen on a wet Budapest sidewalk and one in the past – the tragic death of a friend in a horse drawn wagon accident on a deserted country road perhaps in Transylvania. By Kacsirek Ottó.
New recording: Music from the Kis-Küküllő River region of Transylvania – Bárdosi Ildikó (native of the region, now lives in Debrecen area) sings, accompanied by musicians from the region along with Molnár Miklós on violin and Mester László on viola.
35th Anniversary – Nyírség Dance Ensemble, Nyíregyháza, Hungary. In November of 2009 this outstanding and celebrated amateur folk dance ensemble rose to the occasion with a superb gala show in their hometown in Northeastern Hungary. So many nationally acclaimed and simply great dancers, choreographers, choreographies and performances have come from this group over the years! Report and congratulations from Karádi Zsolt.
Report on the 2009 Mendocino Folklore Camp, a folk dance camp in California. Printed here in both English and Hungarian. By Sue Foy (translated by Bede Judit).
Reprint from quart.hu webpage – February 10th 2010. The London world music publication, Songlines Magazine, regularly sends out CD compilations of folk and world music from a selected highlighted country with its magazine. The February 2010 issue of Songlines included a compilation from Hungary. This writing outlines the process and background behind selections made for the CD and the conditions for inclusion on the compilation. The 6th paragraph of the article in Hungarian lists the artists who actually appear on the compilation.
Kóka Rozália’s series on women’s life stories: in this issue is part one of Álmászt Bedroszian Kovách’s life story. Álmászt’s father was from Armenia, her mother was Hungarian. Álmászt was born in Szabadka [Subotica], former Yugoslavia in 1937. She was trained to be a professional singer and then sang all over Yugoslavia and Europe with the Yugoslav Army’s performing group. Later she was solist for Újvidék [Novi Sad] Radio. She married scientist Kovách Béla in 1957.
Bittersweet / Édeskeserű – the argument continues. The debate began with Dreisziger’s bitter reaction (folkMAGazin 2009/4) to the Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble’s choreography that premiered last spring. More positive reviews have since come from local prefessionals. Here Dreisziger sticks to his totally negative reaction to this show. “...in this piece and the State Ensemble’s whole contemporary direction of work; music, dance and tradition serve merely as instruments of artistic expression [...] the relationship should be the other way around...”. Dreisziger mentions that programs like Zsuráfszky Sr.’s ’Martin Archive’ is more what he thinks the State Ensemble should be doing...