The Matthias Church Choir and Orchestra

The Matthias Church Choir and Orchestra is one of the oldest music company in Hungary, operating continuously from 1688. Liturgical service is always the centre of their activities.
The choir has 50-60 members; the number of participating musicians ranges between 25 and 45, depending on the piece performed. Both the choir and the orchestra features highly qualified music teachers, professional musicians and church music lovers without formal qualifications. There are two choir practices on the church loft weekly, Monday and Thursday night, and one rehearsal for the orchestra on Saturday afternoon. Joint rehearsals are held during choir practices.
Every Sunday morning at 10 o'clock a high mass is held in Latin, with the participation of the choir and church organist Bertalan Hock, the orchestra plays 20-25 times a year. The company also performs on other occasions (Easter week, celebrations, church music festivals, guest performances, weddings, funerals, memorial services etc.), which adds up to a total of 70-80 performances a year.
The repertory of the company includes pieces from renaissance, classical and romantic composers: Josquin, Lassus, Palestrina, Lotti, Hassler, Caldara, Händel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Franck, as well as works of Hungarian composers such as Bernát Menner, Ferenc Liszt, Miklós Moyzes, Mór Vavrinecz, Ernő Dohnányi, Zoltán Kodály, Artúr Harmat, Lajos Bárdos, György Deák-Bárdos, Mátyás Seiber, Gábor Lisznyai Szabó, László Halmos, Ferenc Farkas, Alajos Werner, Pál Járdányi, Rudolf Maros, Ottó Vincze, Géza Büky, István Koloss, all of which can regularly be heard in the church.
  • László Tardy, Liszt Award winner conductor and cantor
    Born on 21st July 1941 in Budapest, he graduated from the Music Academy in 1966 and became conductor and cantor at the Matthias Church. Associate director of the Hungarian Cecilia Association, instructor of cantor further training and conductor training courses.
     From 1968 conductor of the Budapest Medical University (SOTE) chamber orchestra. From 1990 music teacher at the Central Seminary.
Our present conductor, László Tardy has been the leader of the Choir and Orchestra since 1966. Under his leadership the company has performed several new pieces and participated in Hungarian and foreign events: concerts organised by the Budapest Filharmónia Concert Agency and the Budapest Spring Festival, events organised by the Hungarian Cecilia Association, festive concerts of international congresses. They performed on the jubilee church music week at the Köln Dome in 1980, played the Esztergom Mass by Liszt in 1986 on the Vienna Music Weeks, sang a festive vespers at the St Peter Cathedral in Rome in 1991, and performed in different cities and churches around the neighbouring countries Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Recordings of their performances can be heard regularly on the Hungarian Radio.
New members are welcome to join the choir or the orchestra. Candidates must report in person to László Tardy conductor, after the Sunday high mass, on the church loft.