Welsh musicians playing Hungarian carols? Hungarians singing in Welsh? As the world prepares to spend the holidays at home, here’s a quick taster of the many incredible performances you can expect to hear at our Welsh-Hungarian Concerts, once things go back to normal.
[Saesneg yn unig | English only | Csak angolul]
Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas, boldog karácsonyt!
Let’s build bridges between our cultures! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇭🇺

Croeso | Welcome | Üdvözlet

Welcome to our first ever virtual Welsh-Hungarian Christmas Concert, featuring a range of musical performances from across Wales and Hungary. Every year, we come together in Cardiff and Kunágota – Hungary’s “Welshest village” – to celebrate everything Welsh-Hungarian and to build bridges between our cultures through the one language we have in common: music.

This Christmas is like no other. As COVID-19 takes its unpredictable course and we watch the events unfold from the comfort of our homes, we invite you to join us for a range of Welsh and Hungarian musical performances, available on-demand below.

1. Csendes éj | Tawel Nos | Silent Night –
Ceri Davies & Elizabeth Sillo

To kick off, this truly Welsh-Hungarian performance by acclaimed Welsh tenor Ceri Davies and Hungarian mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Sillo shows what building bridges between our cultures is all about.

Ceri – singing in Hungarian and English – is a Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) student from West Wales; while Hungarian-born Elizabeth – singing in Welsh – is a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales.

2. Tua Bethlem Dref – Dr Hajnal Lehóczky

Besides being a doctor, Budapest-born mezzo-soprano Dr. Hajnal Lehóczky has captivated the audience with her beautiful performance of Welsh-language hymns a few times in the past. Hajnal is a soloist of the Doctor-Musicians’ Society in Budapest and has been one of the most enthusiastic participants at our Welsh-Hungarian concerts in Hungary.

3. Mennyből az angyal – Kodály Kids Cymru & Dorothy Singh

It’s not often you see a group of incredibly talented kid violinists playing Hungarian Christmas carols in a Carmarthenshire village. That is, unless you visit Kodály Violin School in Llandybïe – run by the amazing Dorothy Singh! An ex-BBC violinist, Dorothy has a passion for everything Hungarian, and has been an accompanist at various Welsh-Hungarian concerts in Wales, in Budapest and even in Kunágota.

4. O Ddwyfol Nos – Mia Peace

For those who joined us for our last Welsh-Hungarian Concert in Cardiff, “Cwpan Côr Bro Cyfeiliog” trophy-winner Mia Peace’s name is bound to ring a bell! A fluent Welsh speaker, the gifted young soprano also volunteers as a Welsh-language advisor to the Kodály Violin School in Llandybïe.

5. Ó, jöjj, ó jöjj, Üdvözítő – Elizabeth Sillo

Born in Kunágota in southeast Hungary – now known as Hungary’s “Welshest village” – classical singer Elizabeth Sillo is a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales. A former Cardiff resident, she is best known as the organiser of several successful Welsh-Hungarian Concerts in the Welsh capital, as well as in Kunágota and nearby villages.

6. Pásztorok, pásztorok – Kodály Kids Cymru & Dorothy Singh

Another Hungarian Christmas classic, performed by the wonderful Kodály Kids Cymru. Director Dorothy Singh has been teaching children from across Carmarthenshire for many years at Kodály Violin School in Llandybïe – and there’s always space for some Hungarian music in their repertoire.

7. O Ddwyfol Nos – Ceri Davies

Talented tenor Ceri Davies is currently studying at the Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) and regularly performs all across the UK. A strong supporter of our efforts to build bridges between Wales and Hungary, Ceri feels honoured to be a part of this fantastic virtual celebration of the friendship between our two nations.

8. Cwm Rhondda – István Sipos & Emma Győri-Dani

While not so Christmas-y, we couldn’t leave out this wonderful recital of “Cwm Rhondda”, a well-known Welsh hymn, by organist István Sipos and flautist Emma Győri-Dani in the church of Battonya – a village near Kunágota in southeast Hungary.

As the video shows, István (a Budapest-born church choir conductor and organ builder) and Emma (a member of the Wind Orchestra of Orosháza) are true enthusiasts of Welsh classical music.

9. Ave Maria (Péter Wolf) – Lili Napsugár Putnoki

Following the success of last year’s Welsh-Hungarian Christmas Concert in Kunágota, word spread across Békés County and even to its capital Békéscsaba, where ambitious young singer Lili Napsugár Putnoki studies. Lili, a member of the city’s Béla Bartók Music Conservatoire, recorded a Christmas-themed rendition of Péter Wolf’s “Ave Maria” as a heartfelt gift to fellow musicians in far-away Wales.

Diolch | Thank you | Köszönet

We would like to thank all our incredibly talented friends in Hungary and Wales who have joined us over the last three years and supported our Welsh-Hungarian concerts in Cardiff, Kunágota and beyond…

  1. Dr Márta Minier: organiser; lecturer at University of South Wales
  2. Dorothy Singh: violin teacher and accompanist; Director fo Kodály Violin School 
  3. Kodály Kids Cymru, Llandybïe, Carmarthenshire
  4. Balog Kata: organiser; Cardiff Hungarian Children’s Group 
  5. Monika Morgans: organiser; Connect English Academy  
  6. Cardiff Hungarian Children’s Group 
  7. Cardiff Welsh Music Group 
  8. Janet McDonald: mezzo-soprano; WIAV Saturday Academy, Cardiff 
  9. Katinka Kürti: flautist, Cardiff 
  10. Maria Balazs-Richards: invited guest presenter, London
  11. Róbert Szabó: invited guest presenter, Swansea
  12. Richard Parry: Welsh baritone, Parry & Glynn Artists, Cardiff  
  13. Stella Bjoerkman: soprano, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama 
  14. Mia Peace: Welsh folk singer, Carmarthenshire
  15. Mark Jenkins: Welsh tenor, student of operatic tenor Dennis O’Neill
  16. David Hutchings: pianist, BBC National Chorus of Wales
  17. Emily Pugh: soprano, BBC National Chorus of Wales
  18. Benjamin Anthony: baritone, BBC National Chorus of Wales 
  19. Dragoș Andrei Ionel: baritone, Opera Studio of Strasbourg Opera, Opera National du Rhin
  20. Orsolya Ferenczy: soprano, Szeged National Opera
  21. Davinder Singh: violinist, West Berkshire
  22. Diana Lednitzky: folk dance teacher, Bristol
  23. 1st Hungarian Hussar Banderium UK, Manchester 
  24. Hungarian Cultural Community in Newport 
  25. Bristol Hungarian School
  26. Majorette Club, Tótkomlós, Hungary
  27. Dr Hajnal Lehóczky: soloist, Doctor-Musicians’ Society, Budapest
  28. Anna Varga: soprano, Szeged National Opera
  29. Tamás Bonecz: tenor, Szeged National Opera 
  30. Tamás Egresi: baritone, National “Honvéd” Male Choir, Budapest
  31. Nicholas Tsarouchas: boy treble; Welsh National Opera, Youth Opera Programme
  32. István Sipos: organist and church choir conductor, Battonya
  33. Emma Győri-Dani: flautist, Wind Orchestra, Orosháza
  34. Lili Napsugár Putnoki: singer, Béla Bartók Music Conservatoire, Békéscsaba
  35. Ceri Davies: tenor, Wales International Academy of Voice
  36. Andrew Rawlings: tenor, Wales International Academy of Voice
  37. Katalin Zsubrits: pianist, Wales International Academy of Voice
  38. Balázs Kálvin: pianist, Hungarian State Opera
  39. Adrian Partington: organist, Chorus Master of the BBC National Chorus of Wales  
  40. Elizabeth Sillo: mezzo-soprano, BBC National Chorus of Wales 
  41. Balint Brunner: Founder of Magyar Cymru.

We would also like to say thanks to Hugh Morgans, George Ösztreicher and Mr Alun Davies DL, the Honorary Consul of Hungary in Wales, for opening our concerts in Cardiff.

We are also grateful to Ernő Süli, former Mayor of Kunágota; Piroska Zoltánné Boldog, Notary of Kunágota council; Sándor Blás, Roman Catholic Priest in Kunágota; Attila Braun, Director of Bréda Castle in Lőkösháza; Sándor Orbán, Roman Catholic Priest in Mezőkovácsháza; István Bajnai Beke, Roman Catholic Canon in Battonya; Zoltán Pápai, current mayor of Kunágota and László Gábor, manager of the Kunágota Cultural House, for welcoming Welsh music in their venues.

Wondering what this all about? Read more about the success of our Welsh-Hungarian Concert in the idyllic village of Kunágota, southeast Hungary, this time last year.

We hope to see you all at our next concert in Cardiff, set to take place in June 2021. Follow Magyar Cymru on Facebook and on Twitter (@magyarcymru) for more!

Y wasg | Press | Sajtó: Please direct enquiries to magyarcymru@preflect.co.uk or visit our Press page for more information.

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