About the contributors

Katalin Bakonyiné Marton

She studied music at the Bartók Béla Secondary School of Music, then completed her studies at the Secondary School of Music Academy, where she studied to be a singing teacher and choir conductor. She is currently a singing teacher at the Szent II. János Pál School Centre. She has been a member of the Don Bosco Choir and Orchestra since its foundation, initially as a singer and since 1991 she has been actively involved in leading the choir as its director. In addition to conducting, she continues to sing in the choir at concerts. Her repertoire as a choir conductor includes mainly sacred music, but she also has a strong interest in Kodály's and Bárdos' music.

Sándor Benyus

He is a teacher of the double bass, tutor and orchestra conductor at the Bartók-Pikéthy Music Grammar School in Vác (and was the director of the school for 14 years). He is also a member of the Benyus Brothers Chamber Ensemble, consisting of 10 brothers. For 25 years he has been conducting the Don Bosco Choir and Orchestra of the University Church, founded almost 50 years ago by Salesian monk János Dauner.

Father József Brenner

He was born into the Christian atmosphere of the famous Brenner family of Szombathely, with several members dedicating their lives to the priestly vocation. He was ordained a priest in 1957. Together with his brother László, they carried the memory of their martyred brother, blessed János Brenner, into the freer world, but it came at a price: until 1989 he could only be a curate, not a parish priest.  From 1995 he was a canon, vicar general, judge of the Holy See, titular abbot of Borhi, diocesan spiritual director and grand provost of the chaplain of Vasvár-Szombathely. Through his priestly life, by staying faithful and rightful even under difficult circumstances, and by preserving the memory of his martyred brother, he worked for the present and future Hungarian Catholic Church, and indirectly for the Hungarians of the future.

Dávid Farkasházi

He graduated from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in 2015 with a degree as an orchestra and choir conductor, and in 2019 with a degree in grand choral conducting as well as singing and music teacher. He is an award winner of several national and international competitions. Currently, he is a doctoral student at the Academy of Music, a lecturer at the Kodály Institute of Kecskemét and a teacher at the Showcase School Programme of the Academy of Music. He is the choirmaster of the La mia Fonte Choir founded at the International Eucharistic Congress of 2021, one of the organists of St. Anna Church in Batthyány Square and leader of its Youth Orchestra. He is the choirmaster of St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest since 2022.

Krisztina Hernády OP

Born in Budapest, in a family of six children. She graduated in history from Pázmány Péter Catholic University and in theology from the Sapientia Monastic Theological College. She joined the Dominican Order in 2011 and is currently a member of the Order's community in Hódmezővásárhely, where she teaches, holds sacramental preparation classes and works with young mothers.

Father Sándor Kondás

He is a Greek Catholic priest, married (married and ordained in 1980), has 5 children and 5 grandchildren. After 20 years of parochial ministry in Budapest, he worked as a media officer for the Greek Catholic Church and currently edits Greek Catholic radio and television programmes for the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Press and Media Centre. His wife and one of his sons join him in this work.

Dorina Pavelczak-Major

Catechist and coach. She has served in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, in both public and parochial schools. She is the editor and co-author of a series of theological books and a professional collaborator at the request of the Commission for Religious Education of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops' Conference. She currently works at the Religious Education Inspectorate of the Esztergom-Budapest Archdiocese, leading training courses and as a coordinator of the attendees. She is motivated by the transfer of faith knowledge as a leader and active participant in further training courses. Her hobbies are crafts and music, which she also likes to use as a method in her theological lessons.

Gábor Szotyori Nagy

He is one of the busiest organists of his generation, a winner of numerous international competitions and awards. He has been a church organist since his childhood and is currently one of the organists of St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest. He is a regular concert performer, giving 40-50 concerts a year as a soloist and chamber musician both in Hungary and abroad. His repertoire includes almost all major works from early Baroque to contemporary music, but his performing interests focus mostly on Romantic art.

András Gábor Virágh

He is organist of the St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, adjunct professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, member of the board of the Hungarian Composers' Association, and founding member of the Studio5 composers' group, one of the busiest composers and organists of his generation. He was awarded the Bartók-Pásztory Award in 2022 as a recognition of his artistic career.

Don Bosco Choir of the University Church

Founded in 1975 by Salesian Father János Dauner, performing church music at the University Church in Budapest under the leadership of Sándor Benyus Jr. and Katalin Bakonyiné Marton, as well as guest performances on request. The works they perform cover the celebrations of the Church Year and a wide range of European music history. Their repertoire includes 120 to 140 works, as well as works for independent orchestral work. The choir and orchestra, with the nearly 150 members it has, is also a family community, where young and old alike are actively involved in the life of the community.

In Medias Brass

Founded in January 2010, its members graduated from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. In the three years since its formation, the ensemble has won five first prizes, two second prizes and several special prizes in seven prestigious international chamber music competitions. They held master classes in South Korea in 2015, in Lithuania in both 2018 and 2020, and in the Czech Republic in 2019. Their work was awarded the Junior Prima Primissima Award in 2011 and in 2012 they were among the promoters of the KLASSZ Talent Programme. The members of the orchestra are. Richárd Kresz (trumpet); Tamás Pálfalvi (trumpet); János Benyus (horn); Attila Sztán (trombone); Dr. József Bazsinka, Jr. (tuba).

The Choir of St Stephen's Basilica

It was founded in 1909 by conductor Jenő Sztojanovics. The choir's current repertoire includes not only motets, masses and oratorios of the old masters, but also a large number of works by contemporary Hungarian composers. The choir's main task is to provide liturgical service on Sundays at the 10 a.m. mass, but it occasionally gives independent concerts, too. The choir has participated in several tours abroad and has made several albums.

St Ephrem Male Choir    

Hungary's most popular vocal ensemble was founded in 2002 by Liszt and Merited Artist award winner Tamás Bubnó. The vocal ensemble consisting of eight members regularly presents the vocal tradition of Byzantine Christianity, the male vocal works of the great Hungarian composers (Liszt, Bartók, Kodály), as well as contemporary works and their own adaptations.