Musicians at the European Forum on Music 2023

This 2023 edition of the European Forum on Music "Sustain Music" will feature the following exceptional musicians.

Alice in WonderBand

Alice in WonderBand is a duo of performers bringing together world music and odd beats from the Balkans with body music and body percussion. Ana Vrbaški and Marko Dinjaški are performing on stage in theaters and concerts and are a couple in life living in nature, near Fruška gora National park. Their unique lifestyle brings music in connection with the body and nature. Performances are vibrating and rhythmic, powerful and energetic, a crossroads of dance, stage movement and music. Deep, primordial experience takes the audience on a journey through the Balkans as well as to the depths of the being. Performers create a singing and clapping community with the audience, feeling rooted, grounded and inspired. The band performs songs in eleven languages, around Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Turkey etc) and the ex-Yugoslav region. They prove that in the eternally stormy Balkan area there is a unity through culture, music, movement, which brings understanding and reconciliation. They are currently in the MOST Balkan Music Export programme. Their debut album RikaTaka, New Balkan Rhythm is released by a German label CPL Music and is on the seventh place in World Music Charts Europe list in December 2022. The album is a union of different genres, acoustic and electronic music, tradition and contemporary artist expression.


BudaPesme, the Budapest-based acoustic vocal- accordion duo by Veronika Varga (vocalist) and Benedek Réti (accordionist) was brought together by the members' shared passion for the diverse authentic and artistic music of the Balkans. They play songs with Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Greek and Turkish origin, highlighting the genres of the Bosnian sevdah and the Greek rebetiko with the aim to preserve and individualize the impressively honest and open-hearted, intimate and emotional atmosphere of famous and also rarely heard songs of the Balkan area, and its multicolored old ”kafana” universe. The name refers to the duo's home, Budapest, to which the Serbian word pesme (songs) was added, drawing attention to the origin of the musicians' repertoire.

Gergely Devich

Gergely Devich is a promising cellist who has piled success on success: after conquering the podiums of national elementary competitions, in 2014 he represented Hungary at the Eurovision Young Musicians, where he came third having given the most outstanding Hungarian performance ever. His achievements have been honoured with the Junior Prima Award and the Cziffra Talent Award. In 2015 and 2018 he gave solo recitals at the Liszt Academy and his first CD has already been released by Hungaroton. He has performed as a soloist with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concerto Budapest, the MÁV Symphony Orchestra, the Anima Musicae and Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestras. In 2019, his  "Korossy String Quartet" won first prize at the National Weiner Leó Chamber Music Competition. Currently he is studying as a doctoral student at the Franz Liszt Academy.

Dina e Mel

Dina e Mel is a duo who researches and performs minority music, creating new music out of the small fragments that survived long and turbulent history of the Balkans. The result is an album that erases the current borders of the Eastern Balkans and melts together elements of music in unexpected ways. Dina Bušić and Melita Ivković, Dina e Mel, play together since 2012. Both classicaly trained musicians, Dina (musicologist and singer), Melita (guitarist) from Music Academy in Zagreb, they live in their hometown, Zadar (Croatia). They share the passion for research in music as well as the excitement for searching paths that can help them create new output of authentic, old and undiscovered music traditions. Their project “Nightingale” builds around almost completely forgotten music of Arbresh that migrated from Skadar Lake (now microlocations in Montenegro) to the area just next to the Venetian city walls of Zadar. Dina made an ethnological processed research and Melita created a very brave interpretation of the findings, using her wide array of music knowledge with the fragments of music that survived turbulent history full of twists through last 300 years in Zadar.

Komák Ensemble

You're invited to experience the enchanting world of Moldavian Csángó dances at the Dance House with the Komák Ensemble. In the eastern part of Romania, there is a vibrant Hungarian minority known as the Moldavian Csángós. Immerse yourself in the authentic melodies and rhythms of their traditional dance music, expertly performed by the Komák Ensemble. The name "Komák" signifies the beautiful bond between the members, as they are the godparents of each other's children. No dance experience? No problem! Our friendly dance instructors will guide you every step of the way, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience. Come and be swept away by the exhilarating atmosphere of Moldavian dances.

Valentin Magyar

Valentin started to play the piano at the age of six in his native town of Balassagyarmat in Northern Hungary. His special talent was immediately manifested, he won all the competitions of his age group, including the National Piano Competition of Nyíregyháza. From 2013 he continued his studies in Budapest with Gábor Eckhardt. In 2015, at the age of 14 he was admitted to the class of special talents at the prestigious Franz Liszt Music Academy, where he is now preparing for his master's degree with Dénes Várjon and Gábor Farkas. In 2017 he finished second at the Bartók Competition in Graz, Austria. In 2020 he was winner of the Yamaha Competition and of the HCC Competition in New York. In 2021 he received third prize at the International Liszt Piano Competition in Weimar, Germany (no first prize was awarded), in the same year he received the Junior Prima Prize. In 2022 he was winner of the Zoltán Kocsis Prize awarded by the Kocsis-Hauser Foundation. In November 2022 he was chosen from hundreds of students to be the soloist of the Jubilee Concert of the Franz Liszt Music Academy and had tremendous success and standing ovation in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4.

Monika Ruth Vida

Monika Ruth Vida is dedicating her life for sharing the love and the healing power of music worldwide. She lives for making others happy with her music. Despite her young age, she performed already in most of the European countries but also in Africa, in the USA and in several Asian countries as well. Following her excellent results at national competitions, she was only 14 years old when she won her first international competition in Serbia. Shortly after her success, she also debuted in China, in the frame of the World Expo in Shanghai. Since then, she is multiple winner of international piano, organ and chamber music competitions in Europe as well as in the USA. Most recently, she won 2nd prize of the 5th Coimbra World Piano Meeting in Portugal just as she was honored by the Italian Parliament for her excellent musicianship and dedicated work. She was also awarded the Junior Prima prize in 2020. She is studying at the Doctoral School of the Franz Liszt Academy. 

Maxim Rysanov

Grammy nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the worldʼs most vibrant and charismatic musicians. As a violist, he is principally known as a frequent guest of the crème of the international music scene, such as BBC Last Night of the Proms and the festivals of Edinburgh, Salzburg and Verbier. Maxim enjoys a busy career as a conductor parallel to playing the viola. Often he combines conducting and directing a concerto from viola. Maxim studied conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has taken part in several masterclasses with Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Jorma Panula. Maxim is a recipient of various awards, including the Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award. He is also a prize-winner at the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions. He is delighted to play a 1780 Giuseppe Guadagnini Viola known as 'II Soldato', on private loan that was kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong.

Ferenc Ségercz, Mohamad Zatari and Lehel Vitályos

A joint project from Ferenc Ségercz, Mohamad Zatari and Lehel Vitályos, born of their tireless search for common rhythms and dialogues in traditional repertoires from different regions of the world, kicked off in a workshop in a small village in Transylvania. The three musicians use deep-rooted timbres and improvisational concepts to build coherent new, organic sound textures. Ferenc Ségercz is a musician and music folklore collector, performer and instrument maker whose traditional wind instruments (flute, kaval, telenka [overtone flute]) hail from Moldova, Gyimeș and other Transylvanian regions. He is a folklore researcher, composer of numerous folk music arrangements, teacher of traditional music, founder and leader of several ensembles. Mohamad Zatari is a composer and oud player from Aleppo, Syria, currently living in Bucharest. He has studied traditional and regional music with Tarek Al-Sayed and holds a degree in classical composition from the National Music University of Bucharest (2021). Lehel Vitályos is a jazz musician, double bass player and tireless traveller in the world of jazz.

World Youth Choir

The World Youth Choir (WYC) is an international ensemble of the best young choral singers from all over the world. Established in 1989, it brings together remarkable young talents for a rehearsal session and tour in different countries. Over the course of its 30 years of history, the World Youth Choir had over 1000 participating young singers from 75 different countries, many of whom have gone on to lead extraordinary careers in music. The choir has performed over 300 concerts in 37 different countries and has become a global symbol for peace, unity and harmony; being recognised as a UNESCO Artist for Peace (1996-1998), as well as performing at the Olympic Games (1992, 2008) and Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony (2011). It is a phenomenal educational, artistic and social programme that greatly impacts the lives of young singers as well as the audiences they outreach. In June 2023, 40 WYC alumni singers gather for a rehearsal session in Grožnjan (Croatia) and concerts will be held in Grožnjan (Croatia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Veszprém and Budapest (Hungary). The ensemble will be under the artistic direction of Zoltán Pad (Hungary) and Petra Grassi (Italy/Slovenia). This unique global ensemble is made possible through its founders and patrons: the European Choral Association, the International Federation for Choral Music and Jeunesses Musicales International. The 2023 session is a project organised in cooperation with Jeunesses Musicales Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities (JSKD) and Jeunesses Musicales Hungary.