The Festival Academy Budapest focuses on the complex development of Hungarian music culture


The 2023/24 season of the Budapest Festival Academy focuses on the future, in addition to the concert series, the winter and summer festivals, talent management plays a prominent role in the institution’s work, and competitions and master classes are organized.

The Festival Academy Budapest (FAB) was founded nine years ago Katalin Kokas and Barnabas Clement with the aim of creating a series of international events – a festival and master classes – in the Hungarian capital, a real live workshop. As part of the FAB, the world’s most important classical music stars move to Budapest every year in the summer and perform at the capital’s most beautiful venues in one-off and unique formations, undertaking to deal with the students participating in the courses as well. FAB’s extraordinary professional quality is shown by the fact that it is among the most important music events in the world (Luzern, Verbier, Salzburg) noted by the international profession.

“The participants will carry the good news of our country in all directions (30 countries).

the Festival Academy Budapest is also the cultural ambassador of our country thanks to the world’s most famous soloists.

(Barnabás Clement)

The professional quality and nationwide volume of the Festival Academy Budapest is made possible by the exemplary collaboration in which about 70 FAB artists pool their knowledge, time, opportunities, and connections for the benefit of future generations and Hungarian music culture. THE FAB Ensemble his idea was born out of the constraints of the Covid epidemic and grew into a great community. There is no other association or classical music association where essentially all Hungarian soloists have come together for a cause.

FAB National Master Courses

Since 2022, 450 students have received individual lessons from Hungary’s leading artists and teachers, 130 teachers have participated in 5-point and 127 teachers in 30-point accredited continuing education.

The founders of the festival, bringing together the Hungarian art world, teach in our country and in Hungarian-inhabited areas across the border throughout the school year, reaching students and teachers with individual lessons, building deep professional and human relationships with direct artistic inspiration.

As part of our country visits, we listen to students at their place of residence, in their own cities, in their institutions, with which we can assess the level of students and teachers,

we can assess what skills need to be developed at which location, and at what points we need to provide support to the teachers and students of the given institution for continuous development.” (Katalin Kokas)

“We believe that with this unprecedented collaboration, we can generate life-changing changes in primary education and among students.” (Barnabás Clement)

Museum Day at the 2023 Festival Academy (Photo/Source: Festival Academy Budapest)

FAB Competitions

In FAB’s system, three competitions are organically built on each other. Its goal is to enable more and more young talents to prove themselves in international competitions and to build relationships. The Halász Ferenc National Talent Search is aimed at the youngest, as young as 6 years old. The Jenő Hubay International Violin Competition competition of nine Central and Eastern European countries up to the age of 22, the finalists of which are automatically invited to the Fehér Ilona International Violin Competition, which is a worldwide competition with a total prize of 10,000 Euros, with a three-round competition.

“We are pro-competition because we believe that children can best inspire each other, and that the preparation period is also an inspiration for teachers.

From the point of view of the future career, it can be decisive that the talented child can measure himself against others at an early age.

We always make sure that prestigious professors are on the jury at the competitions, who can later help the young people in further education.” (Katalin Kokas and Barnabás Kelemen)

II. Jenő Hubay International Violin Competition

The Hubay Jenő International Violin Competition will be held this year on November 17-19, 2023. was held in Budapest, with a total of 35 talented competitors, in 4 age groups, in the hall of the Ádám Jenő Music School in Ferencvárosi. Young people from countries neighboring Hungary, as well as the countries of the Visegrad Four, could apply for the competition.

The jury included a prestigious violinist or violin teacher from every country in the region. Hungary Eszter Perényiwas represented by the professor emeritus of the Academy of Music, the jury president this year Maxim Rysanova world-renowned violist and conductor.

Members of the jury Bartłomiej Tełewiak [POL], Joseph Kopelman [SVK], Maria Spengler-Markovic [SRB], Ziga Brank [SVN], Goran Koncar [HRV], Eszter Perényi [HUN], Prof. MgA. František Novotný [CZE], Vlad Raceu [ROU] and Anke Schittenhelm [AUT] they were.

The story of the soldier at the 2023 Festival Academy (Photo/Source: János Postzós / Festival Academy Budapest)


In 2024, the Festival Academy Budapest will announce the FAB Winterfest for the first time, for which February 2-4, 2024. will take place in Lillafüred, one of the most impressive locations in Hungary.

The three-day winter mini-festival is truly unique with 25 artists, 3 salon concerts a day and an evening concert bringing light to the winter days,

to this fairytale location. The Palataszálló welcomes those who want to relax for the whole week, but you can even come to one concert at a time.


Among the 2024 FAB Summerfest programs, three key events are now available to the public.

On the opening day of July 14, the production of the Cluj-Napoca State Hungarian Theatre, az Young Barbarians arrives in Budapest, at the House of Hungarian Music. The internationally renowned performance is about the friendship of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály H. Miklós Vecsei based on its text. Directed: Jr. Attila Vidnyánszky.

On July 15, the Holocaust memorial concert will be held in strategic partnership with the Dohany Street Synagogue, at which violinists such as Shlomo Mintz, Dora Schwartzberg, Vilde Frank, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Alissa Margulis and the founders of the festival, Katalin Kokas and Kelemen Barnabás, the head cantor of the synagogue contributes, László Fekete and that Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra.

July 21 on FAB’s Closing Day Nicolas Alstaedt, Kristóf Barati, Bence Boganyi, Clara Dent-Bogányi, Dora Kokasand with the participation of Katalin Kokas, Kelemen Barnabás and other invited artists of the summer festival, such emblematic works as Haydn’s Sinfonia ConcertanteTchaikovsky Rococo Variations by Mendelssohn violin concerto in E minore and the work of Richard Strauss, a Metamorphoses.

Additional events of the summer program series are continuously posted on the festival’s online interfaces.

Kurtág course

“A naive reporter once asked Kurtág why he spends so much time teaching, doesn’t he have less time for composing?” Kurtág answered: there is no separate teaching and composing for him.

Not only can you draw inspiration from teaching, dealing with musicians, analysis is a slightly different side of the same activity.

Actually, thinking together, exploring feelings and sensations together is the work that can be done with György Kurtág. It is no coincidence that he is approached by artists who are already performing, often world-famous, to deal with them.” (János Mácsai)

During the festival, participants are invited to the 12th part of the Kurtág course on Bartók’s string quartets. The intensive, three-hour, bilingual (Hungarian and English) program attracts professional audiences from many countries, but interested parties are also welcome to attend the contemporary music day of the BMC and the Festival Academy.

More information about the events is available on the website of the Festival Academy.

Header image: Family day in the 2023 program series of the Festival Academy Budapest (photo/source: Andrea Felvégi / Festival Academy Budapest)

The article is in Hungarian

Tags: Festival Academy Budapest focuses complex development Hungarian music culture


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