Choir and Orchestra

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.

Barnabás Hegyi cantor-conductor

Barnabás Hegyi, countertenor singer and church choirmaster, has been appointed as the new choirmaster of our church as of 1 December 2020.

Born in Budapest, he started his musical studies on piano, then after studying organ, composition, conducting, church music and private singing in The Hague, he studied early music singing in The Hague, then medieval and renaissance singing practice in Tilburg and organ improvisation in The Hague. As a soloist she has sung with the Budapest Chamber Opera and the Budapest Opera House, among others.

In addition to his vocal and conducting activities, he is also active as an organ-piano accompanist and continuo player. His inspired and richly varied playing makes him an inspiring and reliable partner for choirs. He has recorded some three dozen recordings, several of which have received prestigious awards.