Honvéd Male Choir
Established in 1949, the Hungarian Army Male Choir is Hungary's only professional men's chorus, making it one of relatively few ensembles worldwide that perform, at a professional level, works in the genre of choral music written for male voices. A regular fixture on opera stages and at prestigious classical music festivals, the choir is an integral part of Hungary's classical music scene and has been recognised for its accomplishments more than once by the wider classical music world as well. Once comprised solely of soldiers from the Hungarian armed forces, today's choir is made up of civilian singers who are nevertheless proud of their military predecessors. Many luminaries from the Hungarian and international opera worlds started their career with the men's choir, including Róbert Ilosfalvy, József Réti, József Gregor and Dénes Gulyás. The ensemble is a skilled interpreter of a wide range of musical genres, meaning that in addition to its regular appearances at opera houses and classical music festivals and in oratorical works, it can hold its own in “crossover” programmes that also include popular music. Over the course of the past few decades, the Hungarian Army Male Choir has toured several dozen countries in four continents and has collaborated with innumerable world-famous conductors, including Sir Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, János Ferencsik and Lamberto Gardelli. The work of this ensemble, which has earned the status of a “national” institution, has been recognised with numerous distinctions, including thus far the Prima Primissima Award, the Hungarian Heritage Award, the Bartók-Pásztory Award and the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros. Liszt Award-winning choirmaster Kálmán Strausz has served as the Hungarian Army Male Choir's artistic director and principal choirmaster since 2010.