Kodály Philharmonia Debrecen

Founded in 1923, Kodály Philharmonia Debrecen ranks among Hungary’s top symphonic ensembles. Owned by the municipality of Debrecen, the second largest city of Hungary, it coordinates the classical music life of both the city and the region. The Philharmonia unites and manages two nationally acclaimed ensembles, the Kodály Philharmonic and the Kodály Choir, both the pride of the city, and thus it is one of Hungary’s leading cultural institutions. Dániel Somogyi-Tóth was appointed as its General Music Director in 2022. The orchestra is often joined by the 46-member choir for their immensely popular season ticket concerts. Furthermore, the orchestra often invites renowned musicians both from Hungary and around the world, while the choir gives a cappella concerts with guest artists or presents exciting productions that include other forms of art.

Jeunesses Musicales Hungary

JM International (JMI) is a global network of NGOs that provide opportunities for young people and children to develop through music across all boundaries. It was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1945 by a group of compassionate musicians and organizers who saw music as a means of bringing young people together to overcome the divides created by the two World Wars. With its 73 member organizations in 61 countries, JMI provides opportunities for young people to engage with music. The JMI network reaches over 7 million young people aged 13-30 per year through more than 40,000 activities, embracing all styles of music and coordinating cross-border exchange opportunities on the international level. JM Hungary, which exists since 1965, could claim such musicians among its members as Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki and Kálmán Berkes. The aim of the association is providing kids and young people with after-school musical activities, educating them to better understand music, cultivating talents and fostering international relationships.

Contributors 2023

Kodály Philharmonic Debrecen

Celebrating its centenary in 2023, the Kodály Philharmonic is the professional orchestra of Debrecen. It adopted the name of the composer Zoltán Kodály in 2011 and is one of the leading orchestras in Hungary. They perform symphonic, oratorio, and chamber music and also serve as the orchestra for the opera performances of the Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen. During the Kodály Memorial Year they gave a series of concerts and made tours to Rome, Oradea, and Uzhhorod. They gave nine concerts during their Italian tour in 2018, and the following year took them to Skopje. Imre Kollár is the chief conductor of the Kodály Philharmonic. In autumn 2022, Tibor Bényi from Salzburg will join the ensemble as permanent conductor.

Kodály Philharmonic Debrecen - photo: István Derencsényi
Kodály Philharmonic Debrecen – photo: István Derencsényi
Kodály Choir Debrecen

The Kodály Choir founded by György Gulyás in 1955 worked as the choir of the Secondary Music School at the time its foundation. The Kodály Choir has been working as a professional choir since 1971; it is sponsored by Debrecen, the second largest town in Hungary. The repertoire of the ensemble is very rich; it ranges from the unaccompanied, a’capella pieces through the European classical oratorios to the newest contemporary choral works. Several world presentation and first Hungarian presentation of compositions of Hungarian and foreign composers may be attached to the choir, but naturally the compositions of Zoltán Kodály are in the centre of the repertoire.

Kodály Choir Debrecen


The first edition of the Kodály International Music Competition was a string (violin, viola, violoncello) competition held between 17-26 June 2022 in Debrecen, Hungary.

>> General Rules 2022

The call for entries closed on 31 January 2022 with a huge international response: exactly 200 young musicians from 43 countries on five continents applied. The applicants, who included musicians from the US, Iceland, Germany, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and New Zealand, took part in a video pre-selection before the three-round competition. For the live Preliminaries 49 young musicians from 20 countries have been selected.

>> Candidates 2022

Due to the unexpected illness of György Pauk, Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, violinist Kristóf Baráti headed the international jury: 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.

Violinists, violists, and cellists competed against each other rather than in separate categories. In the first round, the contestants performed solo, and in the second round they performed with piano accompaniment or as a duo. The six best will qualified for the orchestral finals, performing one concerto each as soloists with the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra of Debrecen.

>> Contributors & Venues 2022

All rounds of the competition were free to attend and were streamed live online at the website of the competition and Papageno Facebook page.

>> Streams 2022

After the final rounds the jury decided as follows:

1st Prize – Carlos VIDAL

2nd Prize – Valeria ABRAMOVA

3rd Prize (shared) – Marie-Astrid HULOT, Kzysztof MICHALSKI

5th Prize – TEMESVÁRI Bence

6th Prize – Yuri YOON