About the contributors


Church music accompanied with guitars has a history of almost half a century in Hungary. In honour of the papal visit, a band has been formed, made up of some of Hungary's best-known guitarists and performers, together with a few young people, to glorify the Lord with their service during the rosary prior to the papal mass. Its members are: Zsolt Borka, László Csiszér, András Gável, Gellért Gável, Lajos Nagy, Gábor Sillye, Gergő Sillye, Jenő Sillye, Bence Simon, Antal Takács, Attila Varga, Emese Hedvig Varga, Levente László Varga.

Capella Theresiana

It has been operating in the Parish Church of St Theresa of Avila in Budapest since 2005. The choir was founded on the initiative of canon and parish priest Zoltán Horváth, under the direction of the choirmaster of the church, Dr. György Merczel, associate professor of the Department of Church Music at the Academy of Music. The choir is made up exclusively of trained musicians, most of the choir members are from the Department of Church Music of the Academy of Music. The choir was formed with the aim of providing a regular and exemplary liturgical service of church music. They prefer Gregorian chants and Renaissance polyphony during their church music services, carefully adapting them to the texts of the daily liturgy. In recent years, Capella Theresiana has performed more than 100 Renaissance masses, around 250 motets and numerous Gregorian movements. The choir's greatest forte has been singing works by Palestrina (28 masses) and his contemporaries Victoria (16 masses) and Lassus (10 masses).

Erdődy Chamber Orchestra

The orchestra was founded in 1994 in Budapest by violinist Zsolt Szefcsik, who has been the orchestra's artistic director and concertmaster ever since. The ensemble has performed over half a hundred works based on Hungarian manuscripts after centuries of oblivion. It is exclusively the performances of the Erdődy Chamber Orchestra that transmitted audible musical material on the works of several important composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition, the orchestra commissioned and performed new works by several distinguished Hungarian composers (György Orbán: Stabat Mater, Violin Concerto I, Court Dances, Sopra canti diversi, Sopra canto fermo; Levente Gyöngyösi: St. Luke's Passion, Divertimento III), thereby conveying the values of Hungarian contemporary music to many people. The ensemble made its debut at the Ile de France Festival in 2001 as part of the Hungarian Season in France, and has performed successfully in Vienna, Rome, Ljubljana, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and has toured Transylvanian castles and churches.

Kispap Scola

At the Central Institute for Priestly Formation, there is a long tradition of the resident priests accompanying the services of the University Church with schola singing. Not only does this convey the services the majesty they deserve, but it also provides the audience an insight into the atmosphere of the services conducted by the resident monks several centuries ago, when the institution was still a monastery of the Pauline Order.

Mária Maczkó

Merited Artist, Hungarian Heritage and Prima Primissima Award-winning folk singer. She graduated from the Debrecen Conservatory of Music in 1982 with a degree in private singing. She won the Pest County Folk Song Competition in 1983 and was awarded the title of Young Master of Folk Art. From 1986 she also became a solo singer with the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble for ten years. For many years she also appeared as the voice of the Vasárnapi Újság on Hungarian Radio. She started collecting folk songs along the Galga river still considered to be a white spot, based on which she published a book with Lajos Rónai in 1990 entitled "I planted Roses on the Footpath". In the meantime, she led a circle of  pre-school children's playgroups and folk singing groups in Domony, taught at the folk music workshop in Aszód, in camps, was the artistic director of the Kartal Women's Choir for six years and of the Tura Singers for ten years. She has worked with several bands, with which she launched numerous recordings ranging from Carpathian Basin Hungarian folk songs to special literature lessons: she toured the country with the Tarisnyás folk orchestra, the Folk Trio, the Gajdos folk music ensemble, and made up a duo with zither player András Széles and poetry reciter András Szabó. In 1995, director Ferenc Olasz made films about the "Candlemas" and "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary" celebrations with her songs. From 2010 to 2018, she was a teacher of folk singing at the Folk Music Department of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and Performing Arts, and from 2017 to 2022 she was the artistic director of the Bartók Béla Cultural Centre and Library in Tura. In 2017, she reorganised the Tura Singers' Group. Since 2018, she has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the "Feldobott kő " Foundation established by Sándor Sára, and since 2022, she has been a non-academic member of the Folk Arts Section of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

Ferenc Sapszon, Jr.

Kossuth- and Liszt Ferenc Award-winning conductor, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, once more in charge of the music for the Holy Mass following the International Eucharistic Congress. In an interview given to Magyar Kurír, he said that the experience gained at the IEC is a great help to him, as both he and the choir have to prepare for the music service in a very short time. He stressed the importance of being able to make quick decisions during the Holy Mass, as "music is an integral part of the liturgy, it has to live and breathe together with the liturgical event".

Choir of the Holy Mass

The choir for the Holy Mass consists of 312 people. Of these, 190 singers are from the current and former students of the Choir School, conceived and founded by Ferenc Sapszon, based on Kodály's legacy. They will be joined by invited singers from all the dioceses of the country, once again brought together by Canon László Varga, music director of the Vác Diocese and choirmaster of its cathedral.

The choirmasters of the Holy Mass

János Czifra, Gergely Ménesi, Borbála Sapszon, Ferenc Sapszon, Zoltán Szili, László Varga