BMC Concert Hall
1093 Budapest, Mátyás str. 8.
2900 HUF

Modern Art Orchestra plays Szemző

The concert starts with a short introductory conversation in Hungarian, moderated by the composer Marcell Dargay.


“Composer-filmmaker Tibor Szemző knows countless ways to connect projected image and sound with texts woven either from words or from notes, and  thereby transcend the movie experience or enlighten a concert. His works reveal a densely knit new net of references between time and space. Whether he is wandering the Himalayas, or shooting on exotic islands in the lower Danube, he gains insight into the past and is able to listen to the music of the future.


Szemző is a founding member and composer of the groundbreaking contemporary 180 Ensemble, led the Fodder Basis and Gordius Knot groups, and produced solo performances as well as cathartic, award-winning movies with Péter Forgács. Whenever he approched writings by Hungarian prose master Géza Ottlik, by Franz Kafka or by Ludwig Wittgenstein or followed the path of explorer-linguist Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, he created polyphonic works transferring dimensions of perception.


The Modern Art Orchestra, guided by the intentions of the composer, do not just interpret these works, played in reverse chornological order, but truly re-create them, realising the intention and involving the active participation of the composer.


Memory Shards – The Story of a True Love on the Island of Ada Kaleh in the Cigarette Factory During the Slow Flooding (2017-24) is going to be the premier of the piece, music and film at the same time, showing the remnants of memory of the last inhabitans from a drowned island.


Szemző travelled to the Himalayas in 1999 for the first time, also visiting the monastery in Kanam where Kőrösi Csoma used to stay. Based on material shot on location the piece Seems Like Kailash – 2ndSketch, a prequel of his full-night film on Kőrösi Csoma was created. It will be played for the first time in a concert at the inspiration of, and performed by the Modern Art Orchestra.

The first performance of Optimistic Lecture–in which the composer reckons with his relation to artist Miklós Erdély, both artistically and perosnally–took place in 1988 at the Liszt Academy. In the work, in which the big band accompanies a record player, will be performed by the MAO following the original instructions of the composer.”


Kornél Zipernovszky


Supported by the National Cultural Fund.






  • Tibor Szemző: Memory Shards – The Story of a True Love on the Island of Ada Kaleh in the Cigarette Factory During the Slow Flooding (2017-24)
  • Tibor Szemző: Seems Like Kailash – 2nd Sketch (1999/2002)
  • Tibor Szemző: Optimistic Lecture (1988)


  • Alexandr Krestovský - TJ (text layers)
  • Szakonyi Milán - speaker
  • Modern Art Orchestra


  • Kornél Fekete-Kovács - Artistic director