György Szabados, Kossuth and Liszt Prize-winning composer and pianist (1939-2011), lived and worked in Nagymaros, in the Danube bend, in the last decades of his life. The artist, considered a pioneer and influential representative of Hungarian free music and contemporary improvisational music, created a musically and spiritually outstanding oeuvre, which the town is also trying to do its part to cultivate.
His work was recognised during his lifetime with the title of honorary citizen, and his house was later marked with a commemorative plaque.
Starting this year, on the first Saturday in July, the town will commemorate its citizen, also known as a doctor, with a programme of events. The programme, organised by the local community centre with the participation of fellow musicians, friends and admirers, will highlight different aspects of his life’s work. The aim of the organisers is to commemorate Szabados’ art in the aura of the Danube Bend.
The focus of the day on 1 July will be on the period in which György Szabados’ music and ideas were shaped. Following Gabriella Medgyesi’s poetic portrait film “…Only the Song”, music historian Attila Retkes will talk about the environment of Hungarian jazz music in the 1960s and 1980s, Jenő Hartyándi, the main organiser of the Mediawave Festival, will present the legendary Győr concerts that opened the way for American and Hungarian avant-garde aspirations, while Zsolt Németh will describe the activities of the Adyton Art Foundation, which nurtures his spirit. Jazz critic Gábor Turi will present his latest book, Hungarian Jazz Diary, which deals with Szabados and his circle.
The programme will include video installations, music recordings, a record and book fair, and nature. Participants will take a walk along the Szabados House to the city’s highest point, from where they will enjoy a magnificent view of the Danube and Visegrád Castle. In the evening, in the intimate inner courtyard of the Sigil Café and Gallery, where performances will also take place, a concert by former bandmates István Grencsó (wind instruments), Szilárd Mezei (viola) and Róbert Benkő (double bass) will close the memorial day with a free musical tribute to the master.