2005 Centenary

This page provides details of events run to celebrate the 2005 centenary of Mátyás Seiber’s birth.

Centenary Events in 2005 Glasgow & London

The Edinburgh Quartet performed the 3 String Quartets on 29th April 2005 in Scotland. A repeat concert took place at Leighton House, London on 6th May 2005, part sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Centre; the concert was also performed in Cambridge, on 5th May at Emmanuel College, sponsored by the Cambridge-Szeged Society.

The Barbican screened Animal Farm on 9th January 2005 (as part of a memorial to John Halas & Joy Batchelor. They also showed a collection of other short Halas & Batchelor films with Seiber musical scores as well as A Town Like Alice. There was also a showing of Animal Farm at the International Animation Festival in Kecskemét, which both Vivien Halas & Julia Seiber Boyd attended as guests.

Morley College, London A themed series of 4 concerts to show different aspects of Seiber’s work, as well as a 4-week exhibition of memorabilia including manuscript items on loan from the British Library. This commenced on 21st February and ran until 19th March; with concerts on both dates. The final concert, included a performance of Ulysses. There were lectures by Hugh Wood and Michael Graubart on Seiber’s work during the 4 week Morley period. The Cambridge University Music Faculty requested that Hugh Wood repeat the lecture for them in Cambridge.
The British Library plans an exhibition of original scores from those donated to their collection. The items in their possession are also to be prepared for a virtual exhibition through their website. The virtual exhibition would include some of the memorabilia items. Their manuscript collection list is visible through the link to the BL catalogue.
Cambridge King’s College Choir performed the Missa Brevis in July. The Missa Brevis was also performed at the Mátyás Templom in Budapest with Alan Tongue invited to conduct. The choirmaster confirmed it was also performed in October and December. Frankfurt am Main – The Hochschule performed a comprehensive memorial concert, combining forces with the Konservatorium, and including a lecture from Prof. Peter Cahn, on 4th May 2005. They were also supplied with some copies of published scores to complete their library collection.
Hungaroton Classic recorded a CD in Budapest in April, released in the autumn, containing cello performances by Peter Szabo, piano by Zsuzsa Kollar, violin – David Frühwirth also with soprano, Lesley-Jane Rogers, doing the Song Cycle to Poetry, and mezzo soprano Andrea Melath. The CD is now available from Hungaroton (or Metronome in the U.K.) ref. no. HCD 32405. The Europe Ensemble headed by Peter Szabo also performed the items on the CD as a concert in Budapest on 8.10.05 followed by Szeged two days later.
The Kodály Institute at Kecskemét performed a commemorative Seiber & Farkas concert in mid-July, which culminating in the Kodály memorial piece dedicated to Seiber. The Institute also displayed some of the memorabilia in a small exhibition. The Hungarian musicological journal, Magyar Zene published a commemorative article, as did Tempo, in England. Favourable Reviews of the CD have also been published in Hungary.
Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras both performed Seiber pieces in their programme for 8th and 13th February, respectively. John Turner has recently recorded the piece for Recorder and Burlesque. He also performed it at Dartington, as part of the summer festival. A demonstration CD (playable on PC) showing excerpts of pieces to demonstrate the breadth of Seiber’s work is being produced by Schott & Co. Please contact Sarah Osborn at Schott & Co’s London HQ, if a copy is required to assist with promoting more interest and performances other than as above. BBC RADIO 3 did a broadcast on 29.12.05, on the music of Seiber and his pupils.