Review - Online Cultural Magazine
November 2002

The two first prize winners are the Erdődy Chamber Orchestra and Gábor Juhász

It was the second time on Friday evening on the 22 nd of November that the Hungarian Classical Prize and the Hungarian Jazz Prize authorities organized their gala evening for the prize ceremony in the great hall of the International Buda Stage.

The Hungarian Classical Prize and the Hungarian Jazz Prize are the first professional (and not state-owned) rewards founded in Hungary which aims to enhance the appreciation and social recognition of classical and jazz performers.

The prize was founded in 2001 but as an antecedent, the professional critics of the Gramofon voted for the year’s best jazz albums in 1999 and in 2000. Last year Péter Eötvös was awarded the Hungarian Classical Prize and Kálmán Oláh the Hungarian Jazz Prize. Beside these two highest awards, prizes were given out in another six categories including the best Hungarian and foreign album and the best concert event in both genres. As a first step of the voting procedure 20 professional critics from the journal Gramofon – Classical and Jazz (10 representing both genres) gave their opinions recommending three candidates for each category to the judges and the advisory council.

As a second step the international advisory council of the Awards evaluated the suggestions of the critics and gave their own opinions. This council was formed of the jury of the probably highest-ranking classical musical award of the world, the Cannes Classical Award (CCA), namely David Hurwitz (USA), David Vernier (USA), Sören Meyer-Eller (Germany), Juan Manuel Viana (Spain), Christophe Huss (France), Roberto Zecchini (Italy) and Attila Retkes (Hungary).

The third step was the final decision of the three-person jury on the two first prizes and the category prizes. The members of the jury were Mária Albert (classical – president of the musical department of MÚOSZ), Károly Friedrich (jazz–trumpeter, composer and collage head of department) and Attila Retkes (musicologist and editor-in-chief of the Gramofon).The category prizes and the two first prizes were awarded to the following artists and productions:

The Hungarian classical album of the year:
Liszt-Goldmark-Miklós Rózsa: Pieces for cello and piano (Péter Szabó – cello, Adrienne Krausz – piano) Hungaroton Classic
The foreign classical album of the year:
Tchaikovsky: Piano concerto in B minor, Liszt: Sonata in H minor (Fazil Say – piano, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Jurij Tyemirkanov) Teldec/Warner
The classical concert of the year:
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Concertus Musicus Wien and the Schönberg Choir at the Budapest Spring Festival (25. March 2002, organized by the Budapest Festival Center Ltd.)
The Hungarian jazz album of the year:
Oláh Cumó Árpád Trio: My Time (EMI)
The foreign jazz album of the year:
Wayne Shorter: Footprints Live (Verve/Universal)
The jazz concert of the year:
The Dresch Sextet and Archie Shepp at the BMC Jazz Nights festival (Budapest, the Közraktár street of the Danube embankment, 10. May 2002, organized by the Budapest Music Center)
Hungarian Classical Prize 2002:
Erdődy Chamber Orchestra (photo)
Hungarian Jazz Prize 2002:
Gábor Juhász guitar player (photo)

In the case of the two first prizes the reasons given by the jury were as follows:
There is a chamber orchestra in Hungary whose members does not rest satisfied with only borrowing , studying, performing or recording certain pieces. They approach the repertoire in a different way: they work hard on exploring the musical history’s hidden treasures and its Hungarian-related forgotten values, and often they themselves copy the lines from the manuscript and write the score from it. Probably the most valuable deed of their eight years of work was the rediscovery of Michael Haydn’s art through the exploring his unpublished pieces stored in the National Library of Hungary. The ensemble has a series of albums released by Hungaroton, the last one of which is from Ignace Pleyel’s works.

The 2002 winner of the Hungarian Classical Prize is the Erdődy Chamber Orchestra. They began giving solo concerts only this year, but they have been touring in Bashkiria, Egypt, Italy and the Baltic states during the last twelve months. With encouragement from Péter Pallai they gave a solo concert in London earlier than they did in Hungary, but now they cannot avoid recording a solo album however modest they are. But we can still listen to their wonderful performance on thirty albums, from which the ones with Off Course, the Balázs Elemér Group and the Mirrorworld Quartet are the closest to their style.

The critics of the Gramofon, the international advisory council and the professional jury awarded the 2002 Hungarian Jazz Prize to Gábor Juhász guitar player, who gave a delightfully outstanding performance at the prize ceremony’s gala concert.

Attila Deák


Translation by Susan Kapás

Péter Szabó cellist, conductor, music editor
Péter Szabó's recordings are available on