László Kelemen

László KelemenHe was born on May 1, 1960, in Gyergyoditro (Ditrau) in the Szeklerland, in Transylvania, Romania. He attended the academy of music in Kolozsvár / Cluj where he majored in composing. Apart from composing music, he has been interested in collecting and interpreting the instrumental and vocal folk music of Transylvania. In 1986, fleeing the oppressive regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, he moved to Hungary.

He worked as musical editor for Budapest Music Publishing (1986-1992) and Hungaroton (1988-1990). In 1987he co-founded Ökrös band with Csaba Ökrös and András Berecz. With the band, he acted as a member, presenter and producer of shows and albums. From 1992 until 2000 he acted as the musical director for the Budapest Dance Ensemble. He contributed to their productions, and later to those of the Hungarian National Folk Ensemble as composer, musician and editor, with resounding success.

He held a Kodály-fellowship to pursue composing music, his pieces were presented in the program of the Young Composers’ Group. His solo sonata for violin was recorded by Eszter Perényi.

He was among the initiators in 1997 to launch the comprehensive collection effort to document instrumental music in the Carpathian Basin titled The Last Hour and taken up by Fonó House of Music in Buda. In the course of this work, over 1200 hours of recordings were made using modern equipment. The recordings have been archived and newer and newer selections are published, as well as sampled for radio specials. Recently, the material was showcased in the broadcast of Hungarian national public radio titled “Dawn”.

He cooperated with Ferenc Sebő to present a concept paper for the Hungarian Heritage House. He acted as a government plenipotentiary during the setting up of the institution and has held the post of director there since 2001.

As a member of Ökrös band he has been recognized with the For the Arts award and the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, awarded by the President of the Republic in 2008.

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