The first Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition is accompanied by a great international interest, with a record number of foreign applicants. The event will take place between 17–26 June in Debrecen, and all rounds are free to attend. The international jury will be chaired by György Pauk, one of the living legends of the Hungarian violin school and professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and will include teachers from the world’s most prestigious institutions.
Exceeding all expectations, exactly 200 video entries were received for the preliminary rounds, and 38 competitors from 19 nations—21 violinists, 7 violists and 10 cellists—will compete in the live rounds in Debrecen, with eight from Hungary. Representatives of all three instruments compete in a single category, with the jury selecting a maximum of 18 competitors for the semi-finals and six for the final—at least one from each instrument.
The international jury for the €45,000 prize competition will be chaired by a true legend, 85-year-old György Pauk, Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, who will be surrounded by teachers from the world’s most prestigious institutions:
- Kristóf Baráti (violin, Budapest),
- Vladimír Bukač (viola, Prague),
- Anne Shih (violin, Mainz),
- Denis Severin (cello, Geneva, Bern),
- Wilfried Strehle (viola, Berlin),
- Máté Szűcs (viola, Geneva),
- István Várdai (cello, Vienna),
- and the Kodály Philharmonia Debrecen represented by chief music director Dániel Somogyi-Tóth and principal conductor Imre Kollár.
The opening concert of the competition will take place on 17 June from 7 p.m. in the Assembly Hall of the University of Debrecen, while the Gala Concert with the awards ceremony—featuring the best contestants—will be held on 26 June at 7 pm at the Kölcsey Centre in Debrecen.
In the first round (18–20 June), contestants are performing in solo, while in the second round (21–22 June) they are to perform with piano accompaniment or in duo. In the orchestral finals (24–25 June), the competitors will each perform a concerto as soloists of the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra. All rounds of the competition are free to attend and will be streamed live online at the website of the competition and Papageno Facebook page.
The competition is organised by Kodály Philharmonia Debrecen and Papageno, and its professional partner is the world’s largest youth music organisation, Jeunesses Musicales International.