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St. Gellert Festival
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Title Dear Music Loving Audience,

TThis year, for the 9th time, the St Gellért Festival will be organized by the Diocese of Szeged-Csanád, in conjunction with the feast day of Saint Gellért (24th of September), the first bishop of the Diocese of Szeged-Csanád (1030–1046).

This year’s festival will be made special by the solemn return to service of the Votive Church and Cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary, following its renovation, on the festival’s fourth day (Thursday), the feast day of Saint Gellért. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the square in front of the Cathedral at 6 pm, followed by the delivery of speeches and one of the outstanding symphonic concerts of the festival. The event will also mark the commencement of preparations for the 1000th anniversary of the Diocese’s establishment with the millennial celebrations set for 2030.

For the first time, this year will also see the Saint Gellért Music Festival orchestra perform at the Vigadó Concert Hall, close to the site of Bishop Saint Gellért’s martyrdom.

Bishop Saint Gellért, who arrived in Hungary en route to the Holy Land from Venice, is an outstanding figure in Hungarian history. The monk, probably born in Lombardy, was introduced to King Stephen I of Hungary in 1015 who immediately entrusted him with the upbringing of his son, Prince Emeric. The king later appointed him as the Bishop of Marosvár (Csanád) in 1030. The bishop found great joy in his work and struggle to strengthen Christianity as well as in his activities to convert people to Christianity, build churches and educate priests. Gellért was at the deathbed of King Stephen where they offered the country to Our Lady of the Hungarians with a joint prayer.

Bishop Saint Gellért can be a role model not only for Christians, but for everyone, especially for educators. His humble and ascetic life, his generosity and helpfulness, his consistency as an educator, as well as his love manifested in all his acts, is an example to us all. The Saint Gellért Academy, operating as part of the Institute of Music of the Gál Ferenc College in Szeged and the annual music festival both bear their names in his honour.

The first written reference about Hungarian music is also connected to Saint Gellért. In his legend we read that once, when he was travelling to the king and was a guest in a house, he heard the song of a woman working with a hand mill, he turned to his companion with amazement: “Walter, do you hear the sound of the Hungarians’ song?"

The tradition-establishing Saint Gellért Music Festival promises great artistic, cultural and extraordinary musical experiences, and fits perfectly into the ongoing work to make Szeged a festival city.

Bishop

Dr. László Kiss-Rigó
Bishop of the Szeged-Csanád Diocese

Music downloads

Downloads available according
to the St.Gellert Festival
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Magyar Himnusz
(Hungarian Anthem)
Orchestra: St. Gellert Academy
Conductor:
Robert Christian Bachmann

Inno Pontificio
(Pontifical Anthem)
Orchestra: St. Gellert Academy
Conductor:
Robert Christian Bachmann

AVE MARIA
from "Epitaph"
by Robert Christian Bachmann
Orchestra: St. Gellert Academy
Conductor: Yoon Kuk Lee
Soprano: Lydia Rathkolb

Laudate Dominum KV 339
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra: St. Gellert Academy
Conductor: Yoon Kuk Lee
Soprano: Lydia Rathkolb

Symphony No. 7, 4th movement
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra: St. Gellert Academy
Conductor:
Robert Christian Bachmann


Do we need
a Hungarian culture?
Thoughts and inputs from Géza Szőcs, Hungarian Junior Minister for Culture.

Read article


Festival Archive

Gallery

The complete programme of our previous festivals are available in our archive.