Bartók World Competition

Composition 2018


Dániel Dobos came first with a piano composition, in an international field of over two-hundred composers.

A Bartók Világverseny hat döntős versenyzője: 

Jorge Ruiz Castro, Dongryul Lee - 3. Díj, Dobos Dániel - 1. Díj, Sang Un Kang - 2. Díj,
Stark János Mátyás - 3. Díj, Alberto Alassio
Fotó: Zeneakadémia / Mudra László

Dániel Dobos' submission titled Drumul Dracului won first prize in the composition round of the Bartók World Competition and Festival, which proved to be especially popular this year. The second prize-winning submission was a piano composition by Sang Un Kang from the Republic of Korea, and the third prize was jointly awarded to a South Korean and a Hungarian composer by the jury consisting of internationally renowned composers and performers: Dongryul Lee and János Mátyás Stark were both rewarded for their submissions. The prizes were awarded on 25 November at the Liszt Academy of Music, during a celebratory gala dotted with excerpts from Bartók’s letters. The best compositions were performed at the gala by outstanding pianists such as János Balázs, Balázs Fülei and Balázs Kálvin.

Composition Competition 2018

 Over two-hundred composers – all under 40, as per the rules – created pieces for the 2018 composition round of the Bartók World Competition of the Liszt Academy of Music. Including 25 Hungarian applicants, altogether 214 submissions (5-6 minute-long solo piano pieces) were submitted from 53 countries. Most applicants were Italian, American or South Korean, but there were also submissions from Uzbekistan, Mexico, and Iran.

In accordance with the rules of the Bartók World Competition and Festival, the compulsory contemporary material of the piano round in 2019 will include two selected submissions of this year's composition round.


         Fotó: Zeneakadémia / Mudra László



The international jury was chaired by British composer, pianist and conductor Thomas Adés, members of the prestigious international jury were:

Unsuk Chin, Seoul-born Gravemeyer Award and Arnold Schoenberg Prize-winner composer from Berlin, who was a disciple of György Ligeti; Professor Chaya Czernowin, founder of the Schloss Solitude Summer Academy for composers; Andrei Korobeinikov, outstanding pianist with an extensive touring history, who graduated from Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory at the age of 19; and Gyula Fekete, Vice-President of Research and International Affairs, and art director of the competition.

Back in September, the Selection Committee chose 12 pieces to be viewed by the illustrious international jurors. The composers of these 12 solo piano pieces were:

Alberto Alassio – Italy
Merdan Bashimov - Turkmenistan
Jorge Ruiz Castro - Spain
Dobos Dániel – Hungary
Sang Un Kang – South Korea
Dongryul Lee – South Korea
Oláh Patrik Gergő - Hungary
Stark János Mátyás – Hungary
Linda Uran - Croatia
Varga Abigél – Hungary
Alexander Voltz – Australia
Zixiang Zhao – China

The laureates

 Dániel Dobos, born 1994, is a second year graduate student of composition at the Liszt Academy. He has won several prizes at both national and international composition competitions since 2010. He won second prize at the 4th Béla Bartók National Composition Competition in 2014, first prize at the Liszt Academy’s Composition Competition in 2016, and second prize for his composition inspired by Hungarian folk music submitted for the competition announced by the Hungarian Composers’ Union commemorating the 135th anniversary of Zoltán Kodály’s birth.

Young South Korean composers Sang Un Kang and Dongryul Lee came second and third. The third place is shared with talented young Hungarian contestant János Mátyás Stark.

The special prize of the Hungarian Musical Society for best Hungarian contestant went to Dániel Dobos. The composition of the prize winner is performed at the MINI Festival in 2019.

Artisjus Award and Junior Príma Award-winnig pianist Péter Kiss, a member of the pre-screening jury, has also offered a special prize: he will include János Mátyás Stark's piece Toccata in one of his concerts in the 2019 season.

Among the special prizes awarded, Editio Musica Budapest has offered to publish Dániel Dobos' and János Mátyás Stark's compositions, and STUDIO 5 has rewarded Alberto Alassio with an opportunity for his solo piano piece titled Bembe to be performed at the artistic group's 'Kritikán felül' concert on 9 March 2019 at the Solti Hall of the Liszt Academy.  

The Gala Concert

Beside contemporary music, piano compositions of the greatest 19th and 20th century Hungarian composers were performed at the Gala Concert, on the 25th of November 2018, at the Solti Hall of Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.

Program of the Award Ceremony and Gala Concert:

Ferenc Liszt: Two Concert Etudes

1. Waldesrauschen

Alberto Alassio: Bembe

Zoltán Kodály: Seven Piano Pieces, Op. 11

2. Székely Lament

Jorge Ruiz Castro: Deconstruction of a State of Calm

Béla Bartók: Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, BB 83

János Mátyás Stark: Toccata

Balázs Fülei (piano)




Dongryul Lee: Le Tombeau de Harvey

Balázs Kálvin (piano)

Ferenc Liszt: Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), Third Year

4. Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este (The Fountains of the Villa d'Este)

Sang Un Kang: 4 Bagatelles “No Slow Movement”

Béla Bartók: For Children, BB 53 – Book 1

1. Játszó gyermekek (Children at Play)

3. [Quasi adagio]

5. Játék (Play)

13. Ballada (Ballad)

14. [Allegretto]

16. Régi magyar dallam (Old Hungarian Tune)

20. Bordal (Drinking Song)

21. [Allegro robusto]

Béla Bartók: For Children, BB 53 – Book 2

31. [Andante tranquillo]

40. Kanásztánc (Swineherd's Dance)

Dániel Dobos: Drumul Dracului

János Balázs (piano)

Selected parts of Béla Bartók’s letters and writings were read by Ákos Kőszegi.

The Gala Concert was broadcasted by Bartók Radio, and was live-streamed on the website and facebook of the Liszt Academy.