The 2nd Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition will take place in Debrecen between 20–28 August 2023. Unconventionally, this year’s competition will be open to conductors, who will conduct not only orchestral pieces, but oratorio and opera excerpts as well.
Entries are welcome until 28 February on the official competition page. The competition will focus on Zoltán Kodály’s masterpiece Psalmus Hungaricus, composed 100 years ago this year. The competition is organised by the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra, which is also celebrating its centenary, Jeunesses Musicales, the world’s largest youth music organisation, and Papageno.
As last year, the University of Debrecen will be an important partner of the Kodály Competition, which will showcase young musicians from all corners of the world.
The Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition is held in variable categories, with the first time in 2022 that string (violin, viola and cello) players competed. The competition attracted huge international response: exactly 200 young musicians from 43 countries on five continents entered, with the jury deciding that the first prize should go to 18-year-old Spanish cellist Carlos Vidal.
„The double jubilee of the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra and Psalmus is an excellent opportunity to put Debrecen on the map of international music competitions again this year with a special conductor competition focusing on operas and oratorios. Last year’s Kodály Competition, which created a case of multiple overapplication and attracted huge interest, showed that the country’s second largest city is capable of providing the level that attracts musicians from all corners of the world,” said Dániel Somogyi-Tóth, Debrecen’s General Music Director.
This year’s competition will be open to conductors of any nationality born on or after 20 August 1988 (maximum age 35 on the opening day of the competition) and born on or before 20 August 2002 (minimum age 21 on the opening day of the competition).
Following the video preselection, contestants will compete in three rounds between 20–28 August 2023, in partnership with the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra and Kodály Choir Debrecen. Conductors have 15 minutes in the 1st Round and 30 minutes in the 2nd Round to perform the programme set by the jury. The jury will select a maximum of 12 competitors to go through to the 2nd round and 6 to the 3rd round, where all finalists will perform the hundred-year-old Psalmus Hungaricus. The detailed rules and the repertoire of the €40,000 competition can be found on this link.