This year, the Faculty of Music surpassed the success of even last year’s jubilee summer academy, as participation figures were similar to those before the pandemic. Participants from all parts of the world came to the 21st Young Musicians' Summer Academy where they received the highest level of training in more than 20 master courses. With guidance provided by 31 professors from eight countries, individual master classes as well as chamber music and orchestra courses were held at the Faculty of Music of the University of Debrecen.
According to Judit Váradi, artistic director, everyone can be fully satisfied with the professional work and the concerts at which the students could show what they had learned in the last two weeks.
“Both the master classes and the concerts were very successful, and it was clear already from the applications that all students took the courses very seriously: they were active and focused when performing the tasks entrusted to them. An excellent rapport has been formed between the international and Hungarian youths, and everyone fit perfectly into the community. This was a big event, so all the details had to be in place to do a perfect job. I think everything went smoothly, and everyone completed their courses of the summer academy at a high standard. We gave sold-out concerts in the Musical Evenings in the Great Forest concert series, the students performed at the closing concerts of the courses, and the Zoltán Kodály World Youth Orchestra was a great success in Kölcsey Centre, and then also in the city of Pécs, in the courtyard of the Episcopal Palace. It is the dream of every musician to receive a standing ovation, and these young people now had that experience,” said Judit Váradi.
She also added that the organisers have received much positive feedback from the students about the master classes, and many of them were already asking when the summer academy would be held next year, because they do not want to miss it. Most young people took part in master classes in singing and percussion, which means seventeen and eighteen students respectively, with the stage play and the musicality of movement master courses being also very popular.
The highlights of the Summer Academy of Young Musicians were the closing concerts of the Kodály Zoltán World Youth Orchestra. They performed at Kölcsey Centre on 23 July and then in the courtyard of the Episcopal Palace of Pécs on 24 July. This year, 89-year-old Tamás Vásáry conducted the orchestra for the thirteenth time.
“I can safely say that this year was the best summer academy I was able to attend so far, as the young people gave performances at levels that have exceeded the previous ones. I have experienced a particularly progressive general development, and in addition, this was also a very special group in terms of human values, with music very close to their hearts and being fully immersed in making music. During the two weeks, the young people not only learned but also partied, but they went to bed in time before the World Youth Orchestra’s performances, which shows just how very seriously they took the task. This was also reflected in the quality of the concerts. Since it is never possible to know in advance what level of musicians will come to the summer academy, it is mostly a question of luck to bring together an orchestra composed of such excellent, talented and conscientious young people,” the Kossuth Prize laureate pianist and conductor said.
After Debrecen and Pécs, the Kodály Zoltán World Youth Orchestra performed at the Grand Hall of Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest in the evening of July 25.