The International Bartók Seminar and Festival is the most prestigious music seminar of Hungary.
The International Bartók Seminar and Festival at Szombathely looks back on a tradition over thirty years, since it came into being as the follow-up to the International Bartók Seminar that started from Budapest in 1967.
At the beginning it was mainly the students and contemporaries of Béla Bartók who taught at the courses that attracted great international interest. Later on with the widening scope of master classes that also included conducting, the Seminar moved to its ideal location in Szombathely. Since 1986, with the inclusion of contemporary music in addition to Bartók’s oeuvre, and with the contribution of many internationally renown artist-professors, the initial seminar turned into a prestigious festival. The new program came into being owing to the achievements of György Kurtág, Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kocsis, Imre Rohmann, Miklós Perényi and László Somfai, and Szombathely welcomed among other leading artists of the world guest performers like John Cage, György Ligeti, Louis Andriessen, Marco Stroppa, Heinz Holliger, Kim Kashkashian. Zoltán Peskó and György Pauk were among the longest-serving tutors. In addition to the seminars and concerts of the festival the program also houses lectures on musicology and international conferences.
There is no doubt that the musical compositions of Béla Bartók enjoy a world-wide popularity since they relentlessly feature on the repertoires of major concert halls and they are among the most favoured pieces of international competitions. Therefore being familiar with the Bartókian oeuvre is essential for the new generation of musicians and contemporary composers alike. The mission of the International Bartók Seminar and Festival is to conduce a better understanding of the musical language and art of Bartók. The internationally diverse participants of the seminar coming from far and distant parts of the globe will all enjoy the benefits of learning about this illustrious composer with the help of excellent musicians and professional interpreters of Bartók’s art in the authentic environment of his homeland.
The organiser of the program Filharmonia Hungary wishes to preserve and to pass on the legacy of Bartók to the future generations, therefore the courses of the seminar focus on the impact of Bartók’s oeuvre on contemporary music.