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Liszt's 1838 benefit concert performed

Wednesday 20 April 2016, 6.30pm
Embassy of Hungary
35 Eaton Place, London SW1X 8BY


The Embassy of Hungary in London and the Hungarian Cultural Centre present:
'Inspiration from Disaster: The 1838 Pest flood and Liszt's benefit concert on 18 April 1838 in Vienna'

Lecture about the 1838 flood in Pest by Sándor Váci, architect, RIBA
Liszt's benefit concert of 1838 performed by pianist Gábor Farkas and lyric baritone Mark Oldfield
The event is to remember and revive Ferenc Liszt's 1838 benefit concerts, which were held in Vienna. The famous and generous composer gave eight benefit concerts for the victims of the big flood in Pest in 1838. In total he donated 24 thousand forints after the concert series.
Széchenyi István
(Click on the image for more information about Ferenc Liszt)                   (The original poster from the concert in 1838)

Sándor VáciSándor Váci is an architect, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was born in Budapest in 1938. But just as he finished his secondary school studies at Rákóczi Gimnázium, he had to flee his country after the crushed 1956 Hungarian revolution. He arrived in the UK as a refugee and started his architectural studies at Northern Polytechnique (now part of London Metropolitan University).
In addition to his professional career, Sándor Váci has always been keenly interested in British-Hungarian relations, particularly in the research, presentation and preservation of British-Hungarian architectural relations.  In the past ten years Sándor Váci has been concentrating on researching Count István Széchenyi's British connections, especially his contact with William Tierney Clark, the designer of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest. Sándor Váci has written numerous studies on the subject. Between 2010 and 2014 he catalogued all the available English language sources and the accompanying images about the building of the Chain Bridge. The digitalised format of the material will soon be available on the internet.
In recognition of William Tierney Clark's work both in England and Hungary, Sándor Váci initiated and organised the placement of a plaque in 2014 at the foot of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and by Hammersmith Bridge, which Clark had designed first.
At present Sándor Váci is working on the English language edition of Count Széchenyi's Diaries between 1832 and 1834 during the travels of the Count in England especially. Sándor Váci is the editor and he is working closely with the Archives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the English language translation. In addition, Sándor Váci is now also working on the establishment of a museum dedicated to the history of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. For his tireless work to preserve and build Hungarian-British cultural relations, Sándor Váci was presented the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary in January 2016. 

Gábor FarkasGábor Farkas concert pianist, graduated from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest in 2005. He finished his DLA studies in 2014 at his Alma Mater under the mentorship of Zoltán Kocsis. At the same time he was a student of Professor William Grant Naboré at the International Piano Academy Lake Como. In March 2012 he got the Franz Liszt Award (the highest Hungarian State Award for artists). In May 2009 he received the "Gundel Art Prize", in November 2008 he was given the „Prima Junior" prize.

In addition to the concert halls of Hungary he has performed in the most famous concert halls such as BOZAR (Brussels), Konzerthaus (Berlin), NCPA Concert Hall (Beijing), Seoul Art Center (Seoul), Oriental Art Center (Shanghai) and Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo). His debut CD recording entitled „An evening with Liszt" was published by Warner Music in November 2008, which won the prestigious "Grand Prix" as the best Liszt recording of the year 2009 given by the Franz Liszt International Society. His second album was a live recording of the Official Opening Concert of the Liszt Year, 2011 with Zoltán Kocsis and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, published also by Warner Music in July 2011. He also made recordings for Brilliant Classics, Hungaroton Records and his new CD published by the Steinway & Sons will appear in April, 2016 in the USA. Besides his active concert life, he is the youngest Professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest, regularly giving master classes at the Tokyo College of Music, Japan, and he is also a distinguished jury member at the PTNA International Piano Competition, Tokyo. Among his future engagements Gábor Farkas will make his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2016 as the winner of the 2015 Audition of New York Concert Artists & Associates and he will also perform at Wigmore Hall, London in 2016, at Konzerthaus, Vienna and he will have an extended tour in China and Japan.

Mark oldfieldMark Oldfield was born in Sheffield and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music in London. Mark's versatile lyric baritone secured him an international career since his debut with Scottish Opera. He has sung as a soloist with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, La Monnaie Brussels, New Israeli Opera and Antwerp Opera in a repertoire by Mozart, Rossini, Puccini and Britten, and in many contemporary works. He has worked with leading directors that include Simon Callow, David Freeman and Graham Vick, and has toured in operas and concerts to India, USA, Middle and the Far East.
The Daily Telegraph described him as "A singer with a richly expressive baritone and mature acting ability".
In recent years, Mark has developed his interest in community and educational work whilst continuing to sing in recitals and concerts. In Britain his concerts include oratorios with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican, in all three halls on the Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall, St John Smiths' Square and Snape Maltings in Suffolk. Mark has performed live on Classic FM, for the British Council abroad, and for royalty at the St James' and Kensington Palaces. He balances his performing with three important roles in his life: Head of Voice and Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University in Hendon, London, Artistic Director of Workshops for the award winning charity Streetwise Opera, and Consultant Vocal Coach at working with many different choirs.


We are organising a related talk about Count István Széchenyi given by Professor Mihály Szegedy-Maszák on 19 April. 
The events are part of the 225th Széchenyi Memorial Year in 2016.



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