RAJKÓ Gypsy Orchestra

William Penn Association

 a Premier Fraternal Life Insurance and Annuities Company

proudly presents

RAJKÓ Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra from Budapest

A European tradition in folk and classical music at its best

“Ferenc [Franz] Liszt and His Beloved Gypsy Music”

A Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Liszt

The world famous RAJKÓ Orchestra has toured most Continents of the World with unprecedented success. They have performed in North America on many occasions and this year’s Tour marks their long awaited return. Performances will feature an eight member orchestra with traditional instruments producing the “Authentic Gypsy music” sound of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Franz [Ferenc] Liszt was greatly influenced by the music of the Hungarian Gypsy orchestras of the 19th Century; he incorporated many tunes in his compositions. The concert will include traditional folk music, classical masterpieces and old evergreen favorites, presented in a style which can only be heard in Budapest. Every performer is a highly skilled master of his instrument and the orchestra members have played together for decades, assuring a perfect ensemble sound.

A concert to be attended and not to be forgotten.”

2011 RAJKÓ TOUR DATES 

date day city state performance location time more info
02.szept FRI Philadelphia PA Hungarian Tanya: The Club is located at 1495 Huffs Church Road, Barto, PA 19504 7:00 (412) 859-0429 or (215) 712-9975
03.szept SAT Pittsburgh PA Pittsburgh Hotel – 125th Anniv. Celebration private (412)-231-2979
04.szept SUN Cleveland OH Cserkésznap, German Central Park, 7863 York Road, Parma, Ohio 1:00 (216)-410-3255
06.szept TUE Pittsburgh PA Duquesne University Tamburitzans Administration Building, 1801 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 7:30 (412)-231-2979
07.szept WE New York City NY Magyar Haz, 213 East 82nd Str New York City NY10028 7:30 (201)-836-4869
08.szept THU Washington DC Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-4099 7:30 (301)-706-4840
09.szept FRI Cleveland OH Donahue Auditorium, Dolan Center For Science and Technology, John Carroll University, 20700 North Park Blvd., University Hts., OH 44118 8:00 (216)-288-8727
10.szept SAT Detroit MI Hungarian Rhapsody Restaurant, 14215 Northline Rd, Southgate MI, 48195 7:30 (734) 283-9622
11.szept SUN Chicago IL Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 7:00 (773)-728-6000
13.szept TUE Toronto ONT St Elizabeth of Hungary R C C, 432 Sheppard Ave. East,  Willowdale (Toronto),  Ontario,  Canada, M2N   3B7 7:30 (416)-693-8312 or (416)-966-5156
14.szept WE Montreal PQ Magyarok Nagyasszonya Egyhaz
90 rue Guizot Ouest, Montréal, Québec H2P 1L4, Canada
7:30 (514)-833-0476
15.szept THU Boston MA Johnny D’s / 17 Holland St at Davis Square, Somerville, MA  2144 8:30 (617) 776-2004
16.szept FRI New York City NY Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Ave. New York, NY  10021 12 noon (201)-836-4869
Wallingford CT Ben Franklin Theater,  66 Bayview Avenue, South Norwalk, CT 7:30 (860)-331-6011 or (203)-269-9768
17.szept SAT SCENIC VIEW PA William Penn Association, Penn Scenic View in Rockwood, PA. 1:00 (800)-848-7366, ext. 136
18.szept SUN New Brunswick NJ Hungarian American Athletic Club, 198 Somerset Str., New Brunswick, NJ  8901 4:00 (732)-249-3605 or (732)-735-1558

 

RAJKÓ Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra 

from Budapest

The world famous Rajkó Orchestra offers a unique musical experience and is comprised of highly skilled Gypsy musicians who have been rigoroulsy trained at its legendary music school in Budapest, Hungary. The school, together with the orchestra was established in 1952 and it specifically recruited talented young persons with Roma backgrounds and trained them in the traditions of Central European Gypsy style music. However, the students were also offered a classical musical training, shaping them to be exceptional performers. “Rajkó” means “young Roma” and, in fact, it is an appropriate name for the students at the school. The exceptional artistic standards of the “Rajkós” are unique in that they preserve a musical tradition, which is rooted in improvisation, an essential ingredient to their virtuosity.

The Rajkó Orchestra’s 2011 Tour consists of eight exceptional musicians, with a line-up consistent with the classical form of a Gypsy orchestra: Two lead violinists, called the “Primás”, second viloin, vilola, cimbalom, clarinet, cello and double bass. These instruments assure the authentic sound of the much loved and admired “Gypsy music” of the 19th and 20th Centuries.  The incredible range of their repertoire covers many genres from classical to folk music, and from operettas to gypsy music. As an added bebefit, this year marks the 200th anniversary of birth of Franz Liszt, who loved Gypsy music and based several of his famous compositions on this style. In the performance of the Rajkó Orchestra we may hear the very same music Liszt adored.

The great achievements of the Rajkó Orchestra include highly successful tours throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, and the Far East where they have repeatedly excited and thrilled audiences. Recently they were invited twice to perfrom in the Vatican for the Pope and at the European Congress of the Pastoral Care for Gypsies. They have frequently appeared on national and international television and radio, and also have a number of critically acclaimed recordings to their names.

The William Penn Association Celebrates its 125th Year of Service to Members

The William Penn Association was founded on February 21, 1886 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, by thirteen Hungarian coal miners. The goal of the founders was to extend a helping hand to each other and to the many Hungarian immigrants who worked and suffered in the mines and industrial centers of America at a period in its history when insurance of any sort was still in the far away future. With no sick benefits, no unemployment compensation, and no death benefits for their families, and with the immigrants being maimed and killed by the thousands in the ever-recurring industrial accidents, they had no other recourse but to turn to each other for help. This is how fraternalism was born in America and prompted the thirteen founders to establish the Association.

Today the William Penn Association stands as the unrivaled major Hungarian fraternal society in America. Its goals are to provide benefits to its members and their beneficiaries; to provide housing for its elderly and disabled members; to render other fraternal services to those (including scholarships for their children); and to aid in the preservation of Hungarian culture and Hungarian ideals in this great land of America.  While the Society exists to promote and support the study of Hungarian culture, to unite American Hungarians and to perpetuate the language of the homeland, one does not have to be of Hungarian descent to join the society.

To learn more about the William Penn Association

visit /www.williampennassociation.org or call 1-800-848-7366

The tour was made possible through support from the Balassi Intézet (Institute) of Budapest (bbi.hu)

 

William Penn Association, a Premier Fraternal Life Insurance and Annuities Company

proudly presents

 

Rajkó Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra

from Budapest

A European tradition in folk and classical music at its best

“Ferenc [Franz] Liszt and His Beloved Gypsy Music”

A Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Liszt

The world famous RAJKÓ Orchestra has toured most Continents of the world with unprecedented success. They have performed in North America on many occasions and this year’s tour marks their long awaited return. Performances feature an eight member orchestra with traditional instruments producing the “Authentic Gypsy Music” sound of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Ferenc Liszt was greatly influenced by the music of the Hungarian Gypsy orchestras of the 19th Century; he incorporated many tunes he heard in his compositions. The concert will include traditional folk music, classical masterpieces and old evergreen favorites, presented in a style which can only be heard in Budapest. Every performer is a highly skilled master of his instrument and the orchestra members have played together for decades, assuring a perfect ensemble sound.

Ferenc Liszt [1811-1886] lived in a time when national identities strengthening and with this came the development of music which collectively identified a Nation. In the case of Hungarian culture the Verbunk and Csárdás music was accepted to be “truly” Hungarian. Great musicians were responsible for the development of this new genre of music, many of Gypsy origin. Verbunk is originally a recruiting dance to entice young lads into the army by showing them how “wonderful” military life was – a curious but successful method in Hungary at that time. The Csárdás is the national dance of the Magyars, and it was one of the most popular dances in Central Europe in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Classical composers, who heard this music, were touched by it and used these musical forms in their compositions. Liszt, who lived in Budapest several months every year, loved the music of the Gypsy orchestras and he searched out the best ones. He published the first book about Gypsy Music and used the tunes in his compositions, making Hungarian music immediately recognizable around the world.

The Rajkó Orchestra is considered to be one of the most respected and important presenters and preservers of this Hungarian national music tradition – making them an important Hungaricum [specific to Hungarian culture] for the Hungarians.

PROGRAM

 

PART I – In Memory of F. Liszt

 

  1. Unknown composer: Lightning Csárdás (Villámcsárdás)

The concert opens with a virtuoso composition offering the typical flavor of Hungarian Romantic Gypsy music.

 

  1. J. Brahms (1833-1897): Hungarian Dance No. 5

Brahms greatly respected and appreciated by the work of Liszt. They had met several times and one can just imagine how they discussed their mutual admiration for Hungarian Gypsy music. Brahms completed his Hungarian dances in 1869. Dance No. 5 uses a popular csárdás theme which the composer thought to be an original folksong, but it turned out to be written by a Hungarian composer, Béla Kelér.

 

  1. Ede Reményi(1828-1898): Fly My Swallow (Repülj, Fecském)

Reményi was one of the greatest violinists of the 19th Century and his accompanist was Brahms, before Brahms became famous. Reményi had a great influence on Brahms’ music and he introduced Brahms to his good friend Liszt. Reményi wrote this piece to be able to show off his virtuosity and pay to homage to his homeland. He died in New York City.

 

  1. Folk Music Sources of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies

Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies can be traced back to Hungarian folk and written songs popular during his stay in Budapest. The orchestra will play a bouquet of folksongs which may also be recognizable in Liszt compositions.

 

  1. F. Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 14

Liszt composed 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies – the first 15 were published in 1853. All the pieces were based on Hungarian folk themes. This Rhapsody is also known as “Hungarian Fantasia” – the verbunkos and the csárdás themes are well known to every classical music lover.

 

  1. Ivó Csámpai: In Memoriam of Bihari

Csámpai, a well-known arranger and composer, orchestrated this composition which recalls the characteristic “verbunk” style made famous by one of the best known Gypsy violinists, János Bihari (1764-1827). Bihari was influential in developing the new style of Hungarian music: verbunk and csárdás and Liszt used some of his melodies, but even other composers like Beethoven and Sarasante included music in their compositions from this charismatic “prímás”.

 

  1. F. Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

This Rhapsody will likely be the most recognizable classical masterpiece fro concertgoers as “typical” Hungarian music. Liszt was a true European artist, who lived for many years outside Hungary, but he never forgot his origins and dedicated energy and money to assist Hungary and its people and was influential in establishing musical training in Budapest.

PROGRAM

 

PART II – Our Tradition

In the tradition of true Gypsy orchestras the RAJKÓ will alter the program every night to suit the specific concert audience and the musicians own creative mood in true RAJKÓ tradition! This is the essence of Roma music in Hungary or anywhere else in the world: spontaneity, improvisation and drawing a smile or a tear from the listeners. Hundreds of years of tradition in Hungary by Gypsy musicians formed and shaped the Hungarian spirit and provided great support to the Nation in times of trouble and triumph. Hungarian Gypsy Music, as we hear it at this concert, provided one of the foundations for Hungarian culture.

Part II of the program includes folk music or popular music selections loved and enjoyed by Hungarians across the globe, in addition, selections from romantic and classical composers – the roster RAJKÓ may chose from include Monti, Hubay, Dinicu, Khachaturian, Offenbach, Suppé, Strauss family from Vienna or Rossini – just to name a few. Sit back and enjoy some of the world’s most seasoned musical entertainers – who regularly play for tourists and local music lovers in Hungary. Today they will play for you!

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the wonderful instrumentation and instrument unique to Hungarian music. The cimbalom, for example, which completely mesmerized composers – not only Liszt and other composers of his time, but even 20th Century artists like Richard Strauss. Although this instrument may is used in many countries, this form of the instrument was the invention of the Hungarian instrument maker, József Schunda in 1874 in Budapest. It was he, who made it possible to use it as a concert instrument by inventing a pedal for the strings. The precise cimbalom we hear today was made by another famous maker, Sándor Bohák, in Hungary. The instrument is close to being hundred years old, but it was completely rebuilt and it is on its first tour in the USA. Sándor Kuti, the cimbalom player, is one of the best cimbalom players in the world today.

In the true tradition of Gypsy musicians, the audience is encouraged to suggest songs or specific concert pieces during intermission. The suggestions should be offered in writing and given to the person at the merchandizing desk. If possible, the orchestra will play the requested selections.

Finally, remember that RAJKÓ is part of a functioning music school in Budapest, which trains hundreds of pupils to carry on Hungarian cultural traditions. As with any art school today, the financial situation is challenging. Your support, financial or otherwise, is welcome.

 

www.Rajko.hu

 

The performers:

Lőrinc Danyi – violin, Gyula Fehér – violin, Mata Tamás – violin,

József Toldi – violin, Antal Suki – clarinet,

Benedek Suki – vilola, Gábor Matyi – bass

Special guest artist: Sándor Kuti – cimbalom

Managing Director of Orchestra: István Gerendási

The William Penn Association Celebrates

Its 125th Year of Service to Members

 

To learn more about the William Penn Association

visit /www.williampennassociation.org or call 1-800-848-7366

 

The tour was made possible through support from

the Balassi Intézet (Institute) of Budapest (bbi.hu) and the Hungarian Cultural Center of New York City

The tour is managed by Centrum Management – Kalman Magyar, Director

T: 201-836-4869 – email: magyar@magyar.org – www.centrummanagement.org

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