This extremely popular musical event, which boasts a tradition of over 25 years, was initiated by Gábor Hollerung in order to offer amateur ensembles and individuals the opportunity of rehearsing and performing classical and modern masterpieces in a professional milieu, with the contribution of the Budapest Academic Choral Society and the Dohnányi Orchestra.
Let the Country Sing is an unrivalled success in Hungarian music life, which unites music lovers from all parts of the country from the most diverse age groups and educational background. This event gives both the participants and their audience an unforgettable musical experience. At the same time the project is the most effective way of audience recruitment and education. The most outstanding achievement of this over 20-year-old programme is that its participants have become regular concertgoers.
It started out in 1986 as the concert of the „United Youth Choir of Secondary Schools in Budapest” and it has become a tradition by now. The event is extremely popular thanks to the pleasant atmosphere of the rehearsals and the joy of singing together. Every year many new singers take part beside those returning each time. The project greatly owes its fame to the personality of the conductor who always strives at making the essence of the musical language comprehendible in the simplest form, with endless humour, accessible to all age groups. During the past two decades they performed a wide variety of oratorical works, singing pieces like Mozart’s Requiem, Händel’s The Messiah, Dvořak’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s The Creation and Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus. In addition to these works they also presented the premiere of several contemporary Hungarian compositions. To celebrate the project’s 20th anniversary in April 2005 nearly 500 young singers sung Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mendelssohn’s Die esrte Walpurgisnacht at the National Concert Hall.
In 2006 the concert has come up with a new concept, Let the Country Sing, where 450 singers from all over the country participated. The first concert was Verdi’s Requiem performed at the National Concert Hall. Since then, the German Requiem by Brahms, Missa Solemnis by Beethoven and Israel in Egypt by Handel, Webber’s Requiem, Vajda’s Variations followed on the programme.
The most intensive part of the rehearsal period is the three-day choir camp held by Gábor Hollerung, which always takes place outside Budapest. At the camp participants do not “only” rehearse the piece to be performed, explanations by the conductor play a key role in the preparation, similarly to how it is done in the “Comprehendible Music” concert series. This offers participants a unique opportunity to get a deeper insight into the chosen composition.
In the spring of 2013 Mozart’s Requiem and Kodály’s Psalmus hungaricus will be on the programme of the Unified National Choir. Preparations for the work will start in March, to be ended by the three-day choir camp in May. The concert will be held on May 19, 2013 at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, with the participation of the Dohnányi Ernő Symphonic Orchestra Budafok.