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English Establishment of Zoltán Kocsis Memorial House cancelled

Establishment of Zoltán Kocsis Memorial House cancelled

The memorial house would have been maintained by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the government had even transferred the purchase price; however, Erika Tóth, the widow of Zoltán Kocsis decided not to sign the documents, thus the future of the memorial house became questionable. The widow of the composer spoke with Hungarian business weekly Heti Világgazdaság (HVG) about her doubts as the reason for the decision.

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“After all, I did not sign the purchase agreement placed before me in December, during the holiday season, because I saw no guarantee whatsoever that the memorial house would actually come about in line with my late husband’s last will, and spirit”, stated pianist Erika Tóth. The most important condition set by the widow of Zoltán Kocsis was that the artistic director of the memorial house should be the son of the artist, Krisztián Kocsis, who is also a pianist and composer, and that the family was allowed to participate actively in the process of planning and construction, wrote HVG.

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According to the plans, the memorial house would have been located in the artist’s former home, a family house in Budafok, at the outskirts of Budapest, which would have been owned, and maintained by the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. In the lower level of the 12-room house would have been a museum-like presentation of how the pianist lived. It would have housed his library, his record and other collections, as well as his instruments. Upstairs, a salon for 60 people was planned to open. The widow even mentioned a 350-people underground concert hall, and other connected halls operating as a cultural centre.

According to the news outlet, the government decision does not mention either the construction of the concert hall, nor the involvement of the family.

In addition, a bronze statue would have been set up in the garden of the memorial house. The purchase price of the property and the amount to be spent on the statue was even transferred by the Prime Minister’s Office. Being asked by Hungarian business weekly Heti Világgazdaság as to why the plan failed after this, the Prime Minister’s Office replied that “the widow of Zoltán Kocsis has not yet signed it (i.e., the contract”.

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The Prime Minister’s Office was only going to purchase the building from the family, i.e. the artist’s son. Similar to the way the Imre Makovecz Memorial House operates, the agreement would have left Zoltán Kocsis’ own recordings, record collection, and manuscripts in the family’s possession.

According to Erika Tóth, “no consultation is under way, on February 5 the Prime Minister’s Office informed us that there would be no memorial house”. She is to sell the house and looking for prospective buyers abroad.

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