Dear Audience,

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the death of the pianist, conductor and composer Zoltán Kocsis, a winner of the Liszt Award and a two-time winner of the Kossuth Prize, a former chief music director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic and one of the most influential Hungarian artists of the last half-century.

It is with the intention of starting a tradition that the Liszt Academy and the Hungarian National Philharmonic are launching the Hungarian Classical Music Day on 30 May, Kocsis’s birthday, with the involvement of numerous ensembles from around the country.

“A professor at the Liszt Academy, Zoltán Kocsis not only engaged with our students at masterclasses, he also took the podium of the Liszt Academy Symphony Orchestra as conductor. It was touching to see how much he wanted to pass on his knowledge. Although he is no longer with us physically, his memory and artistic work have not dimmed even with the years,” emphasised Dr Andrea Vigh, the Liszt Academy’s president, when announcing the introduction of the all-day programme being organised together with the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

Dr Andrea Vigh
photo: Andrea Felvégi

Domonkos Herboly
photo: Szilvia Csibi

“Everyone associates the name Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra with artistic quality of the highest possible standard. Kocsis began working with the orchestra in 1997, as its chief music director. This level of quality is the result of his talent and unsparing perfectionism. His memory obliges us to show how Hungarian classical music and Hungarian musical talent make our country a genuine musical powerhouse,” added Domonkos Herboly, general director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

This event has been made possible with the support of the Ministry of Human Capacities.



Hungarian Classical Music Day
In memoriam Zoltán Kocsis

A joint programme of the Liszt Academy and the Hungarian National Philharmonic


Sunday, 30 May 2022, 7:30 pm
Liszt Academy, Grand Hall



Ernő Dohnányi: The Veil of Pierrette, op. 18 – excerpts
Tímea Dragony: BIFROST – ‘the Bridge’
Béla Bartók: Hungarian Sketches, BB 103
Zoltán Kodály: Budavári Te Deum

Orsolya Rőser soprano
Kornélia Bakos alto
Szabolcs Brickner tenor
Krisztián Cser bass

Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Oliver von Dohnányi

Zoltán Kocsis, one of the defining figures of Hungarian music life over the past five decades, established a tradition by giving a charity concert each year on his birthday, having invited his friends and fellow musicians to play chamber together. This noble tradition was revived by the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra he headed for nearly 20 years, as well as his alma mater, and 30 May was christened the Hungarian Classical Music Day. In 2022, on the 70th anniversary of the birth of this great musician, the evening is devoted to works by classical Hungarian composers of the 20th century alongside modern-day Hungarian music: the piece by Tímea Dragony inspired by Scandinavian mythology is a world premiere. It won a prize in the symphony orchestral works category at the 2020 Müpa Budapest Music Competition.

Born in 1955, Oliver von Dohnányi is music director of Yekaterinburg’s Ural Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Liszt Academy Concert Centre, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra