The winners of the Buda Castle Beethoven Composers’ Competition have been announced. The professional jury selected from 25 entries to make its decision. Dániel Lázár won the first prize. The second prize was received by Per Dybro Sørensen, a Danish composer. The winner of last year’s Composers’ Competition, Patrik Gergő Oláh, finished in the third place. The jury’s special choice award was given to Otto Wanke, who entered the competition from Austria.
A total of 25 entry compositions were received for the international competition announced by the Municipality of the Buda Castle District, from which a five member professional jury selected the best ones. The applicants submitted individual, previously not performed musical pieces, compositions based on a recognizable motif from Beethoven’s Violin and Piano Sonata No 5 in F major, Op. 24, also called the „Spring” Sonata. Each competitor could submit a maximum of three entries.
The entry compositions were evaluated by a jury invited by the Municipality of the Buda Castle District. The chairman of the jury was Mr. Miklós Maros, composer, its members Mr. Gyula Fekete, composer and university professor; Mr. Sándor Kovács, music historian and music critic; Mr. János Mácsai, music historian and music critic; as well as Mr. Péter Tornyai, composer and chamber musician.
The jury made its decision considering professional aspects. At the competition with a total prize money of € 6000, the 1st place winner’s prize was € 3000, the 2nd place € 2000 and the 3rd place € 1000. In addition to this, the winning compositions will be presented at the Beethoven in Buda Festival, at the concert on 2 May. The winner of the jury’s special choice award will receive a € 1000 prize.
The idea of the Buda Castle Beethoven Composers’ Competition originated from dr. Nagy Gábor Tamás, the Mayor of the Municipality of the Buda Castle District. After last year’s highly successful Composers’ Competition he encouraged artists to compose again.
The Beethoven in Buda Festival, announced for the 20th time, will be organized between 30 April and 7 May, and will welcome music lovers at the Buda Castle with 18 special concerts and saloon music.
The Beethoven in Buda Festival will commence with the first concert of the Symphonies Series at the Buda Castle City Hall on 30 April. The most excellent chamber musicians of Hungarian musical life undertake in four successive concerts to introduce Beethoven’s all 9 symphonies from a new aspect in the most diverse setups and instrumentations. After the saloon symphonies, Beethoven’s rarely heard pieces composed for mandolin and fortepiano will be presented by Alon Sariel and Michael Tsalka Israeli guest artist, also at the Buda Castle City Hall. The Festival will be opened by composer Miklós Maros at the evening concert on 30 April. On 1 May music lovers will be welcomed at the Krisztinaváros Church with a concert by the Orfeo Orchestra and the Purcell Choir conducted by György Vashegyi, where Beethoven’s oratory entitled Christ on the Mount of Olives will be played. Thursday evening, at the Beethoven Composers’ Competition Gala, József Balog and József Rácz will perform the prize winning pieces at the Hungarian Institute for Musicology. On Friday 3 May, pianist János Balázs and the Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra will perform together at the MOM Cultural Center. On the same day two immortal icons of Hungarian pop music, László Benkő and Fecó Balázs, will show how their world of music can be connected to the works of Beethoven. Saturday morning, pianist Eckhardt Gábor will speak to children about Beethoven at the Jókai Anna Saloon. At the classical music program series young talents will introduce themselves this year again. In the afternoon of 4 May, Zsófia Persányi and Eszter Gaál will play Beethoven’s eternal melodies. In the evening, in a joint performance Csaba Király and Alex Szilasi will improvise for the themes of the most popular Beethoven compositions at the Buda Castle City Hall. In the afternoon of 5 May, Malcolm Bilson will play the fortepiano at the De la Motte – Beer Palace. In the evening, a joint production of the Ballet Company of Győr and the National Dance Theatre for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the compositions of Zoltán Kodály will be presented at the Castle Garden Bazaar. In the afternoon of Monday 6 May, organist Balázs Szabó will play Beethoven interpretations at the De la Motte – Beer Palace. Later, the piano evening of Balázs Fülei will be presented at the Hungarian Heritage House, where Beethoven’s late piano sonatas will be played. On the Festival’s closing day, in the afternoon at the Buda Music Saloon, Alex Szilasi and Sándor Kovács will explore the theme of Beethoven and improvisation.
The Festival will be concluded by a Memorial Concert at the renovated Castle Theatre on the anniversary of Beethoven’s performance in Buda on 7 May 1800. An extraordinary musical duo will perform together: Kristóf Baráti and Mihály Berecz will present Beethoven’s Op. 30 Violin and Piano Sonata series.