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Sir Georg Solti

Reconnections Project Crucial in Importance and Impact

17 March 2023

The traditional chamber music workshop of Liszt Academy and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance celebrates its the 10th anniversary at the Israeli institution.

Reconnections is an annual project involving students and teachers from both academies, one year in Budapest and the next in Jerusalem. The collaboration, which started in 2013, has become one of the most important international events of the two universities. Its aim is to showcase meeting points and differences between the two countries and cultures, to deepen chamber music work and organise concerts in relation to the workshop, and to revive common past with composers and musicians who are considered key artists of both nations.


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Dr. Andrea Vigh, president of Liszt Academy, said on occasion of this jubilee that Reconnections had become part of the life of both institutions. It is a professional challenge for students and teachers to meet for the first time in a week-long workshop as well as to form chamber groups, but it is also an uplifting opportunity to work and perform together. “While the connection between Hungarian and Jewish culture is clear, and our musical roots are intertwined, it is clear that participants come from different cultural and musical backgrounds, but that is exactly what makes this project exciting,” she added.

This year’s round took place in Israel from 20 to 25 February, with four students from Liszt Academy (Eszter Kökény, Ildikó Szabady, Kinga Várallyay and Hunor Egyed from the Doctoral School) and two teachers (bassoonist Jákob Betterman and violinist Oszkár Varga). Professors not only instructed students but also took part in the concerts.

The newly formed chamber music ensembles spent the first half of the week with intensive rehearsals for the performances at three different venues.

The result of their work was first presented on 23 February at the Navon Hall of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, in front of an audience of mostly local students and teachers.

Then, on 24 February, participants gave a concert at the Eden Tamir Music Center in Ein Karem, which, like Jerusalem, is famous for its centuries-old holy sites.

The final concert took place in the south of Tel Aviv, at the city’s new cultural quarter, hosted by the Felicja Blumental Music Association, in the Studio Annette auditorium.


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“Reconnections is extremely close to my heart. I first participated in 2013 as a student of the very first project, and I made friendships with fellow students from Jerusalem that I still cherish to this day. I was particularly touched to be able to go back on the tenth anniversary of the project, now as a teacher of Liszt Academy”, said Oszkár Varga about this year’s event. He spoke of the project as a great success and stated that a lot could be acquired during and after rehearsals. Great friendships were formed with teachers and students of the Jerusalem Academy, and the city itself made a deep impression on participants.