Conductor is fired in Hungary. Politics suspected.

Conductor is fired in Hungary. Politics suspected.


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2014

 Laszlo Kovacs was dismissed last week as artistic director and conductor of the North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra in Miskolc. He has held the job for 30 years and his contract was only renewed last August.
It appears that an incoming new manager decided that Kovacs did conform to the political realities. Report here in Hungarian.
Kovács László_művészeti igazgató


  • GW says:

    Let’s encourage orchestras abroad to engage the improperly dismissed Maestro Kovacs, a fine musician who enthusiastically led his ensemble through the change of systems, and discourage orchestras from hiring the Fidesz poster boy Zsolt Hamar who has been given Kovacs position without a proper audition in a non-secret ballot, apparently at the orders of the tin-eared party bosses in Budapest.

  • Will Duffay says:

    Hungary is becoming a bad place, with far-right politicians and anti-semitic views held at the highest level. What a terrible shame for that country and for the individuals who are suffering in it.

  • M. Hurshell says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about this. I guest conducted his orchestra (many years ago) and found him to be a charming and sympathetic artist and human being. Shame on Hungary.

  • Stereo says:

    Wouldn’t really want a principal conductor for 30 years no matter how good.

  • ed says:

    American orchestras, especially those in the second or third tier, are too often thin on fine conductors. Too bad the good ones in Europe are not engaged more frequently here.

  • CDH says:

    Care to tell those of us who do not read Hungarian what this is about? I cannot make head nor tail of this sentence: “It appears that an incoming new manager decided that Kovacs DID [emphasis mine] conform to the political realities.”