Balázs Fülei gives a solo recital in the South-Italian Taranto on the 17th of May. The location and the program both evoke the mid 19th century. Chopin’s four mazurka, Schubert’s Impromptus and Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words encompass the years of 1820 and the following two decades. The next day begins the Arcangelo Speranza International Piano Competition which Balázs Fülei won ten years ago. This time he was invited to be in the jury.


The Echo Summer Academy – organised in the Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary, between 3-8 July – is open to applications. The summer academy awaits those violinists, cellists and pianists who are not only enthusiastic about the repertoire of their own instrument and solo performance but would also happily participate in chamber music formed on the spot, with freshly made acquaintances. Detailed information and application:



There has always been a lively cultural life at the Károlyi Castle, the home of the Echo Summer Academy. We asked Angelica Károlyi, the cultural director of the Károlyi József Foundation about awakening the traditions and concert life. 


-You know the history of the castle very well. What can you tell about the once so lively music scene here?
-The Károlyi family has always loved and respected music. After the castle has been built, they created a musical salon where they brought a Bösendorfer piano. So it is very certain that they organised concerts at home. My father in law has also started to learn piano in the castle and became a true admirer of music, as well as my husband: after the regime it happened more than once that he only came to Budapest for an opera performance or a concert.
-After finishing the reconstruction of the castle, you tried to step by step brush up the once lively cultural life. How did you begin to organise concerts?
-The first concert we organised was a dulcimer concert with a classic program. It took place in the chapel of the castle. Later we also organised programs in the Ornamental Garden – at the beginning of the two thousands the weather was more pleasant and calculable…
-You and your husband are both music admirers. Which genre, era or composer stands closest to you?
-My husband is most enthusiastic about the pieces of Bach and Mozart and the operas of Wagner, while Verdi’s operas, Beethoven and Liszt are closer to me, but we listen to all these together as well. We both love the string quartets.
-This must have been one of your reasons for starting to organise a String Quartet Festival a few years ago. This „Quartettissimo”, which has almost become a tradition.
-This story began in 2010. We only wished for a more active music scene and more concerts in the castle. We didn’t have the money for a really good concert piano and there was no place for such an instrument either: We could only organise concerts in the chapel back then as the reconstruction of the main building was still in process. We got in contact with the French ProQuartet, which – just like us – is a member of the network called the European Cultural Meeting points. We planned to invite a Hungarian string quartet every year, and two other quartets from two other countries. Since then ProQuartet has suggested us a young and talented french string quartet every year, sometimes one from another country as well.
-Your newest program is the Echo Summer Academy which is going to create a tradition as well.
-The opportunity to meet Balázs Fülei pianist, the head of the Chamber music Department of the Academy of Music has occured thanks to a new acquaintance made at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Balázs liked the castle very much and thought of organising a masterclass and summer academy here. We have already given place to a program like this. Florence Sitruk, the harp professor of the Academy of Music in Geneva has organised Harp-Academy here twice. We hope to make a tradtition out of the Echo Summer Academy organised for the first time this year, also because Károlyi Castle can be a perfect place for chamber music. I hope the participants of the academy will have a great time at us, at this island of peace, far away from the city and they have a place and opportunity to practice and browse from our huge CD and book collection. Music is the lifeblood of this castle, this is what it needs to stay alive. 


Attila Falvay and Balázs Fülei gave a violin-piano recital in Tel Aviv. The program included the works of Liszt, Kodály and Bartók. The most significant Israeli-Hungarian paper, the New East has also told about the concert.,,
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