Hungarian National Choir
The choir was formed in 1986 as the State Choir
The Hungarian National Choir is composed by some of the most outstanding and talented musicians of Hungary. Mátyás Antal is the Chorusmaster since 1990.
It was built around the choir of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. Its founding choirmaster was Miklós Pászti, under whose guidance a body eighty strong was formed, that was able to perform large scale oratorios. At their first important concert, they sang works by Liszt, conducted by Miklós Pászti. Their first oratorio evening came on March 26th, 1986, with a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, conducted by the legendary Antal Doráti. After the death of its founder in 1988, the direction of the ensemble was taken over first by Katalin Bodonyi Ella and then Gábor Ugrin. Since 1990, the choir master has been Mátyás Antal. The choir’s repertoire is a rich one, ranging from Bach and Schütz to contemporary composers, featuring the great oratorio works and operas alike. The choir can also give a good account of jazz works when required.
An impressive host of top flight conductor have worked with the choir. To name but a few: Antal Doráti, Péter Eötvös, Ádám Fischer, Lyonel Friend, Lamberto Gardelli, Zsolt Hamar, Domonkos Héja, György Lehel, András Ligeti, Ervin Lukács, Kobayashi Ken-Ichiro, Géza Oberfrank, Rico Saccani, Yuri Simonov and of course, Zoltán Kocsis.
Besides their many concerts in Budapest and Hungary, the Choir is frequently invited to perform abroad. Over the years, they have been successful in numerous European cities, but have also sung with distinction in Japan, Israel and Turkey.