Conducting 2023


Kodály Competition Debrecen – Conducting 2023
20-28 August, 2023

General information

The Competition is open to conductors of all nationalities who were born

  • on or after 20 August 1988 (maximum 35 years of age on the opening day of the competition) and
  • on or before 20 August 2002 (at least 21 years of age on the opening day of the competition).

The Competition takes place in four rounds: Qualifying Round, 1st Round, 2nd Round and 3rd Round. All the rounds, except for the Qualifying Round, are open to the public.

The jury will advance max. 12 conductors to the 2nd Round and 6 to the 3rd Round.


Application is open from 7 December 2022 until 28 February 2023. By submitting an application, the contestant accepts the rules of the Competition.

All applications must be made using the form available on the competition’s website and must include:

  • completed application form
  • attachments:
    • copy of passport (or ID in case of EU citizens)
    • high resolution portrait photo (at least 300 dpi, min. 2 MB)
    • brief biography (approx. 1000 characters)
  • minimum 2, maximum 3 recent recordings, preferably with symphony or chamber orchestra, but recordings with small ensemble or piano also accepted
    • audio-only recordings are not accepted
    • preferably covering various styles
    • recording does not need to start at the beginning of a piece or movement
    • videos must show the musician’s hands as he/she conducts
    • videos must be submitted by providing a link (Youtube or Vimeo)

Contestants accepted to the 1st Round will be notified no later than 20 March 2023. The list of the admitted applicants will also be published on the Competition’s website. 

Some of the applicants will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified if he/she gets admitted due to others dropping out.

Application fee

The entry fee of EUR 100 is only to be paid by contestants approved to the 1st Round. In case the payment is not received until the deadline, the spot of the contestant will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. The entry fee shall not be reimbursed under any circumstances. 

Travel & accommodation expenses are to be covered by the competitors, but special offers from the Competition’s partners (hotels, restaurants etc.) will be made available.

Rules of the Competition

The Jury of the Qualifying Round will consist of several members of the Competition Jury.

The order of appearance in the 1st Round will be determined by drawing on 20 August 2023. 

In the 1st Round the contestants have 15 minutes to conduct the movement in its entirety and to work with the orchestra. The movement to be performed will be determined by the drawing of the order of appearance.

In the 2nd Round the contestants have 30 minutes to conduct
a) an excerpt from Dances of Galánta or Dances of Marosszék and
b) an oratoric excerpt.
The excerpts to be performed will be decided by the Jury. The contestant can choose the order in which he/she will conduct the works in his/her programme.

In the 3rd Round all contestants will conduct Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus (full piece).

Competitors consent to making video/audio recordings, live streaming/live radio broadcasts, and to taking of photos during the event. Participation in the competition is subject to the condition that the competition owns the rights thereto, and the competitor may not claim royalties.

The Jury’s votes are strictly confidential. Any jury member who is a relative or teacher of a competitor may not vote on that competitor nor discuss that competitor’s performance with other members of the Jury. The Jury’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal. The jury reserves the right to stop a performance or ask for a certain excerpt.

Jury members

To be announced.


20 August 2023

Opening Ceremony

21-22 August 2023

1st Round

approx. 32 competitor
max. 15 minutes

23-24 August 2023

2nd Round

12 competitors
max. 30 minutes

25 August 2023

Rehearsal day

26-27 August 2023

3rd Round

6 competitors

28 August 2023

Award Ceremony & Gala Concert


1st Round (max. 15 minutes, approx. 32 competitors)
  • Johann Strauss II: Die Fledermaus – Overture OR
  • Johann Strauss II: Der Zigeunerbaron – Overture OR
  • Bartók: Dance Suite – I. Moderato, IV. Molto tranquillo, VI. Finale. Allegro
2nd Round (max. 30 minutes, 12 competitors)

a) Kodály: Dances of Galánta (excerpts*) OR Kodály: Dances of Marosszék (excerpts*)


b) one of the followings:

  • Poulenc: Stabat mater – I. Stabat mater dolorosa & II. Cujus animam gementem
  • Liszt: Hungarian Coronation Mass – I. Kyrie
  • Verdi: Quattro pezzi sacri – Stabat mater (excerpts*)
  • Puccini: Messa di Gloria – I. Kyrie
  • Vajda: Magnificat – Suscepit Israel
3rd Round (6 competitors)

Kodály: Psalmus Hungaricus


*The excerpts to be performed will be decided by the Jury.


1st Prize

EUR 15.000

2nd Prize

EUR 10.000

3rd Prize

EUR 6.000
4th Prize
EUR 4.000
5th Prize
EUR 3.000
6th Prize
EUR 2.000

The Jury reserves the right not to award certain prizes. Prizes can be divided and are taxable under Hungarian tax laws in force at the time of the Competition. Concert engagements and other special prizes will be offered to the finalists.