Katalin Forrai (1926-2004) was one of the most well-known Hungarian music pedagogues. Her name was internationally connected to early childhood music education. She devoted her life-long activities to the Kodály concept of music education: she worked with children at the kindergarten level with devoted attention to the artistic values of children's songs, and with the magic of her personality she led children's first steps into the realm of music with playful methodological process. She also served the practical adaptation of the Kodály concept and children's musical development when she selected and edited Hungarian children's songs and other nations' materials with demanding expertise. Kati - as she was known by her nick-name everywhere - served the Kodály's ideas also when she gave lectures in conferences or led in-service courses for teachers both in Hungary or worldwide. She wrote studies and books about her experiences which explain her methodological thoughts. Kati Forrai's best-known works include her book entitled Music in Preschool, published in several languages, and a set of videotapes on the Hungarian practice of the Kodály concept in which she was the editor and one of the demonstrators at the beginning of the 1980s.
Katalin Forrai untiringly took part in the public affairs of the musical societies both in Hungary and worldwide. She was a board member at the Hungarian Kodály Society and the International Kodály Society, as well as the International Society of Music Education. In the latter society she was the promoter and leader of the Early Childhood Commission. Kati was also the President of the Hungarian Music Council for many years.
Katalin Forrai had many connections with Kecskemét, Zoltán Kodály's native town. She worked together with Márta Nemesszeghy, founding headmistress of the Kodály School, and she was a guest lecturer at the Kindergarten Teachers' Institute. Later on she became an honorary professor of the Kecskemét College Teachers' Training Faculty. Since the first Kodály Seminar in 1970 she had returned to these events as lecturer or leader of special courses. Kati was the director of the ISME Early Childhood Seminar at the Kodály Institute in 1986.
Katalin Forrai's devoted activity was recognised by many awards both in Hungary and abroad. Among others she received the award "For the Kodály Institute" in 1994.
She had a vast collection of books on music education, especially about preschool education. A part of this substantial material was donated by herself to the Kodály Institute. Following her example and wish, her husband Dr. László Vikár, the internationally well-known ethnomusicologist, and her children donated the materials left behind to two institutions in Kecskemét. Kati's bequest was partly given to the Music Pedagogical Archives of the Kodály Institute (especially the large amount of material in foreign languages) and partly to the Library of the Teachers Training College of Kecskemét. In this way the collection has become available for researchers and music teachers who are interested in Katalin Forrai's work and in various aspects of music education from the second half of the 20th century. (Picture: Parlando, 2005/2)
The lists of these materials in PDF format can be downloaded here: books, journals, scores, manuscripts, other.
Sándor Gál was a writer, music pedagogue, musicologist, the author of many novelized biographies. He worked for several journals and held lectures to populaize classical music. His books about music and musicians are populaire. He had a wide knowledge of music, literature, fine art, and he was interested in philosophy, history and politics as well. But his main topic was the art music. Some of his writings were translated to different languages.
His widow gave his bequest to the Kodály Institute in 1982, it contains books, music scores and rare LP disks.
Legendary stage-director, theatre director, pedagogue, translator. He put a lot of effort to introduce the Hungarian music, mainly the art of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály to the world. He directed dramas, operas, operettas, and films.
He was born in Budapest. At the age of eighteen he translated the librettos of Puccini's Triptichon (Il tabarro; Suor Angelica; Gianni Schicchi). He attended the Liszt Academy of Music and learnt conducting from Zoltán Kodály between 1926 and 1932. In 1933 he returned to the Hungararian State Opera House as a stage-director and between1959 and 1966 he was the director of the Opera House. As a guest director, he was invited to famous opera houses all over the world, like the Teatro alla Scala (Milano, 1938), La Fenice (Venice, 1938), the Maggio Musicale (Florence, 1938-40), Staatsoper (Vienna, 1950).
His bequest consists of books, music scores, journal clippings, a few manuscripts in Hungarian, and foreign languages about Bartók, Kodály as well as on opera and ballett.
Eugenia (Jean) Sinor was born on September 22, 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended the Liszt Academy in Budapest and earned a certificate in solfege, pedagogy and conducting there in 1969. She completed the Master of Music Education degree at Indiana University School of Music in 1975 and was appointed as a Lecturer in music education in 1976. In 1984, she completed the Ph.D. degree in music education and was appointed as an Assistant Professor and chair of music education. She was promoted to Professor of Music in 1998.
Jean Sinor was dedicated to the teaching principles of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. She received a National Endowment for the Humanities Kodály Fellowship and became internationally known for her work as a clinician and author of teaching materials. She served as a visiting lecturer at twenty institutions and taught over seventy workshops, nationally and internationally. She authored several scholarly articles and four textbooks, including the Silver Burdett publications, Kodály Curriculum Guides, and World of Music. Sinor's contribution is well summarized by one of her international colleagues: "Jean was clearly outstanding in her field...I know of no music educator in the United States I would rank above her... I would rank few as her equal or superior even internationally in terms of her impact on her profession."
Jean Sinor's service was distinguished at all levelsher profession, university, school and department. She served two terms as the president of the International Kodály Society. Her keen leadership, intellectual, critical thinking and communication abilities were sought out and valued by many. (by Charles P. Schmidt, David Neumeyer, Allen Winold)
After her death, her husband, Denis Sinor gave her library to the Kodály Institute: more than 2000 documents - books on (music) pedagogy, psychology, music scores, textbooks, journals, audiovisual recordings, manuscripts.
Lajos Nemesszeghy (1902-1982) was born in Muzsla. He learnt music from Pál Bodon among others. Before 1945 he conducted several choirs and he was a sub-conductor of Zoltán Vásárhelyi's famous Mixed-Choir of Kecskemét. After the World War II he worked to revive the Kecskemét Symphonic Orchestra and the musical life of Kecskemét. He was a lecturer of the Teachers' Collage of Nagykőrös and Kecskemét, later he taught at the local music school and - after it's estabilishment - at the first primary school specialized in music of Hungary.
Márta Szentkirályi (1923-1973) was born in Budapest. She was the director of the first Music Primary School (today: Kodály School) of Kecskemét since 1950 until her death. She got her degree in Budapest and she started her profession at the Calvinist College in Kecskemét. During the 1946/47 academic year she learnt at the Liszt Academy of Music and after she became acquainted to the music teaching method of Békés-Tarhos, with Kodály's support, she decided to estabilish a primary school specialized in music which is available for everyone. When the education finally started at the Kodály School in 1950 with only one class, noone guessed the latter effect of the Kodály-concept to the Hungarian as well as the international music pedagogy, although Kodály visioned that "the true results of the musical education can be seen after decades". (Source: K. Udvari Katalin, Parlando Template, 2003.)
The bequest consists of books, school books, both instrumental (mostly piano and violin) and vocal music scores, letters, photographs and personal belongings.
She was a collegue of Marta Nemesszeghy and she gave letters, plaques and personal belongings of Marta Nemesszeghy to the Archives.
Ilona Andor was born in Pécsvárad as the ninth children of a poor family, and she became an orphan at a young age. The director of the music school of Pécs, the violinist Emánuel Kürschner took care of the talented girl. Later she learnt at the Liszt Academy of Music from Lajos Bárdos, Artúr Harmat and Arnold Székely.
At the Apponyi College she learnt piano and organ and took courses in conducting. In 1927-28 she taught piano and the Music Scool of Pécs. From 1929 she was a music teacher and sub-conductor of the Ranolder Institute (today: Leövey Klára Institute), in 1948 she became the 1st conductor. She collected folk-songs in 1954. Officially she retired in 1965, but as a substitute teacher she taught at the Leövey Klára Institute until 1969. Kodály dedicated several choir works (Orphan I am, Mountain Nights V.) for her girls' choir. She set a commonly followed example of performing the choir works of Kodály and Bartók.
From her bequest the Institute has gotten recordings of Kodály's choir works performed by the Kodály Zoltán Girls' Choir, conducted by Ilona Andor, two letters from Zoltán Kodály, a music score signed to Ilona Andor by Kodály, as well as books on music pedagogy, music scores, articles and photographs. (Picture: from the cover of the Andor Ilona Memorial CD)
The name Denise Bacon is synonymous with the outstanding musical training at Dana Hall. Due to her high musical standards, Ms. Bacon brought distinction to the Dana Hall Music Department. She joined the music faculty in 1944 and became Head of the Department in 1948. In 1957, she founded the Dana School of Music in response to the growing demand by Wellesley residents who asked that musical instruction be available to them and their children. The school offered lessons in piano, voice, orchestral instruments, classical guitar, and theory for boys and girls as well as adults. Ms. Bacon's unique teaching style influenced many aspiring musicians.
In July of 1966, Ms. Bacon taught a workshop at the University of Southwestern Louisiana on the Orff and Kodaly methods of musical instruction. The response to these innovative musical techniques from fellow music teachers was so overwhelming that she was determined to go to Hungary and learn more about the Kodaly method of musical instruction and to bring this method to the United States. In 1966, she was awarded a Braitmayer Fellowship that paid for her salary and expenses for the 1967-68 year to study at the Liszt Academy of Music and the Orff Institute in Budapest, Hungary.
The Kodály Musical Training Institute (KMTI) was established in September 1969 through in Wellesley, Massachusetts, as the result of Denise Bacon's 1967-68 year of study in Hungary. As a teacher training institution attempting to adapt the Kodály concept of music education to American culture, its main areas of interest were research into American folk music, the development of curriculum and model schools, and the training of master teachers. The Kodály Center of America (KCA) was established in April 1977 by Denise Bacon, at first in Wellesley, MA, and later in Newton and Providence. Its purposes were essentially the same as those of KMTI, and its program continued with the curriculum (somewhat expanded) originally established by Peter Erdei at KMTI.
In 1995, Ms. Bacon retired from her position as the Director of the Kodaly Center of America but today is still working hard on the KCA's archives. A part of the archival material will come to the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemet and a more complete United States collection will go to the University of Maryland. Her many honors include the Outstanding Alumni Award of the New England Conservatory of Music in 1984, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators in 1989, and two medals from the Hungarian government in 1983 and 1989. (Source: the webpage of the KCA and the webpage of the Dana Hall School)
Opera and oratorio singer. He was born in Budapest as a child of a wealthy family. He started to learn music at an early age by a distant relative, Irma Ráder. Rösler was a joint-translator of the libretto of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Kálmán Nádasdy. In 1926 he became a member of the Hungarian State Opera.
He played the role of the "Youth" at the premier of Kodály's Spinning Room in 1934, later he took the role of the "Rich Youth". Performing the Spinning Room and getting acquainted to the Hungarian folk music and the art of Zoltán Kodály brought a change in his career, he became one of the main performer of Kodály's vocal compositions and folksong arrangements. In 1932 he sang the tenore solo of the Psalmus Hungaricus conducted by Arturo Toscanini, and he sang that role 67 times altogether during his life. From 1953 he was appointed to the Liszt Academy of Music as a voice teacher and from then on he performed on stage less and less. His last performance was on 4 December 1963, as "Napoleon" in Kodály's "János Háry".
Books on music, scores and librettos can be found in the collection.
Pál Mihályfalusi Bodon was a composer, conductor, music pedagogue, folksong collector. He was born in Horka. He attended to high school in Budapest, than he continued his studies at the Konservatorium der Musikfreunde in Vienna. After returning to Budapest, he learned composing from János Koessler - he was the master of Bartók and Kodály, too - at the Liszt Academy of Music. Bartók asked him to join to the folksong collector group in 1907.
He was the conductor of the symphonic orchestra of Kecskemét and from 1910 he was the director of the local music school. He retired in 1949 and from than on he was working on his book titled: "The method of intonation". The music school of Kecskemét was named after him in 1989.
His daughter, Sára Bodon presented his bequest to the Kodály Institute: the manuscripts of his 14 compositions and transcriptions of other composers' works, drafts, his notebook which he used during the folksong collecting trips in 1907, manuscripts of his writings on music pedagogy, pictures and letters.
Typographer from a famous Hungarian typographer family.
His daugher, Zsuzsanna Kner donated the documents of the cooperation of Imre Kner and Zoltán Kodály: letters, placards, programs and photos to the Kodály Institute.
Photographer. He took portrait photos of writers, poets, actors and musicians. His most successful series was the Zoltán Kodály-series, he
accompanied Kodály to some of his travels. During those years, he met the world's famous conductors, performing musicians, composers.
He donated the Archives copies of his Zoltán Kodály photo-series.
Zoltán Vásárhelyi was a conductor, composer and violinist. He was born in Kecskemét. He was a student of Zoltán Kodály and Rezső Kemény. He'd been in Estonia and Norway for two years as a concert violinist, but he gave up his career and became a violin and music teacher at the music school of Kecskemét. Following Kodály's advice, he estabilished a choir. This choir sang the first performance of Schütz's Mattheus Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Josquin des Préz's Pange Lingua and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (in English) in Hungary. The Kecskeméti Dalárda (Kecskemét Choir) sang the first performance of Kodály's Jézus and the traders and Anna Miller (Molnár Anna).
He composed several cantatas, folksong-arrangements, works for children's choir.
His bequest consists of books, scores (his own compositions as well), manuscripts, drafts, personal belongings and albums.
Ms. Sztojanovits was a famous music teacher and conductor of the Szilágyi Erzsébet Leánylíceum (Erzsébet Szilágyi Girls' Academy). She came from a family of musicians, her father Jenő Sztojanovits was a composer-conductor. Andrienne and her sisters formed a vocal trio which was very successful in Hungary and abroad as well. Her girls' choir sang the first permormace of several Kodály- and Bartók-pieces for treble voices, Kodály dedicated his Whitsuntide to them. Kodály referred to her once as: "the one who transformes the black note seeds into a vocal garden of flowers."
A collection of music scores, letters, photos and posters.
Kossuth-, Erkel-prized composer. He was born in Kolozsvár (today: Cluj Napoce, Romania). He wanted to be a concert violinist, but he gave up his career at the age of 19 and turned to composing. Between 1927-32 he was Zoltán Kodály's student at the Liszt Academy of Music. His first large composition, the Symphonic suite (1934-35) was first performed in 1937. His compositions was performed in many countries, the most famous one is titled Aenigma. His self-definition was: "I'm the ensign of the <Kodály-school>".
The bequeath consists of score manuscripts, photos, letters and personal belongings.
A collection of rare old music scores, manuscripts which was given to the Kodály Institute by the sons of the composer árpád Fasang.
Music pedagogue, journalist, member of the International Kodály Society, founding member of the Hungarian Kodály Society. He was an editor of the Parlando: Journal of Music Pedagogy, and his writings on music pedagogy was published in this journal as well. As the vice-director of the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music he educated a lot of excellent musicians of today's Hungary.
He gave a collection of books on music to the Archives in 1993.
Folklore researcher, composer, conductor, music pedagogue. Kodály introduced him in his essay titled: "13 young composers". As a follower of Kodály he participated in developing the new music pedagogical program and - from 1949 - in the folksong collecting work. He was a teacher, choir conductor, he composed choir works, edited journals for youngsters and music schoolbooks.
In 1948 Kodály assigned him to the editor of the volumes of the Collection of Hungarian Folk Music (Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungaricae). The editor group led by György Kerényi became the Department of Folk Music Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1951.
In 1990 the music school of his hometown, Csorna, was named after him. His bequeth contains old foreign books, copies of Kerényi's writings, journals and letters.
Márta Kiss was the vice-director of the Kodály Zoltán School of Kecskemét. She gave the Kodály Institute her collection of photographs, journal clippings, documents she collected during the years (1955-1970) she spent at the Kodály School.
Concert agent. He was born in Baja. During his high school years he got interested in music and fine arts, but he didn't succeed in taking the entrance exam to the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. He started his concert agent career in 1918 by organizing concerts at the countryside. In 1921 he estabilished his own concert organizer company which became famous in Hungary and abroad as well.
He took a leading role in organizing music competitions in Hungary like the Bartók-festival, Bartók-competitions, the II. International Liszt Competetion, Haydn-festival and competition, the Liszt-Bartók Piano Competition. He helped several generations of musicians to succeed in their career. As his daughter remembers: "He truly loved the arts, but he knew well that he could not become a great artist. So he spend his life to create a connection between arts and people.".
Klára Kokas was born in Szany (Sopron county, Hungary). She received her Teacher's diploma from the Liszt Academy of Music, in 1950. Klára went to study at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, and obtained a PhD in psychology and pedagogy in 1970. Her teaching career included positions as a choir master at both elementary and high school as well as at a teachers' training college. She founded a musical elementary school, then a musical kindergarten when she worked in Szombathely (1954-1965). Klára organized therapeutic activities in Budapest for children left by their parents.
She was the first to lead an American research program for the Kodály Institute between 1970-1973 in Boston, MA and was an associate professor at the Zoltán Kodály Music Pedagogy Institute between 1973-1989 in Kecskemét. Klára has also led innovative aesthetic-education studies for a school reform project organized by the Hungarian Academy of Science from 1973 until 1988.
Throughout Hungary more and more of her former students use the Kokas pedagogy while teaching various age groups of children with different background. (biography was taken from the webpage of AGAPE JOY OF MUSIC, JOY OF LIFE FOUNDATION)
A part of her collection was donated to the Kodály Institute by her in 1990; her library, audio and video recordings and other documents arrived at the summer of 2010.
In the 1960s, Nándor Heltai suggested to the Town Council of Kecskemét to collect the documents related to József Katona and Zoltán Kodály. The collection was devided and the documents on Zoltán Kodály was donated to the Kodály Institute (books, pictures, scores).