High level piano education on a quality grand piano
for all ages

Piano Masterclass by Zoltán Kocsis - 15-16th September 2016

Bartók-year on the 135th anniversary of the birth of Béla Bartók was announced by Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Capacities. Some of the programs planned for the season 2016/17 are hosted by Béla Bartók Memorial House. The international piano masterclass that worked with solo piano pieces by Béla Bartók and some transcriptions was processed by the initiation of Casba Király concert pianist awarded by Liszt Prize, director of the memorial house. The two-day masterclass was held by Zoltán Kocsis conductor and concert pianist twice awarded with Kossuth Prize and awarded with Liszt Prize in the concert hall of the memorial house.

Piano students, concert pianinsts and piano teachers could apply to be an active participant on the materclass from the age of 16. The selected students prepared with a diversified program: we could lisen to works based on folksongs, some pieces from the Mikrokosmos, the most popular piano piece - Allegro Barbaro - and also some special pieces, e.g. the 1st movement from the 3rd Piano Concerto accompained by Zoltán Kocsis himself on an upright piano transported for this occasion, the Funeral March from the Kossuth Symphony and a piano duet transcriprion of The Miraculous Mandarin. Many passive participants took part also: piano teachers, concert pianists, students of conservatories, colleges or universities. The second day was finished with a gala concert where the students played their program with the changes and suggestions advised by Zoltán Kocsis. The concert could be seen by a wider audience since many amateurs joined the professionals.

The active participants as well as the professional audience could learn some important features of working with the music of Béla Bartók. Some examples:

  • Marks of tempo, dynamics and articulation should be interpreted corectly. Sheets by Bartók contain all instructions precisely that helps in approaching the required sound effect, Bartók used many different expressions and marks.
  • The Metronome should be used correctly. Bartók usually supplied the sheets with accurate metronome signs: there are pieces that should be played in the same tempo throughout, but we meet frequently those pieces that contain two or more parts played in a different tempo, sometitmes with a sudden change, sometimes with a gradual transition.
  • It's necessary to know the lyrics for the folksong based pieces since the melodies should be vocalized on an instrument like singing: the rhythm should suit to the lyrics.
  • Works should be practised properly. The precise imagination shoud be formed very soon, the required sound effect should be planted in the player's ears then the technique should be chosen and polished to that sound effect. All - melodic, harmonic, dynamic and tempo - happenings should be understood, the player should check with open ears if he plays the opus according to these happenings.
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