András Gábor Virágh (1984) must be one of those few people who can add extra hours to a normal day and spend 30 hours of it in a useful way. Owner of the Junior Prima Award and many other recognitions roughly equaling the number of his years, András Gábor Virágh pursues an almost untraceable number of activities. Without exhausting the list, he is a composer, concert organist, cathedral organist of St. Stephen’s Basilica, teacher at the Liszt Academy (solfeggio, music theory, score reading), former lecturer at the Debrecen University, Faculty of Music (basics of music theory, analysis of musical forms, orchestration).
In his family the young composer represents the fifth generations of musicians – organists – as his grandfather Endre Virágh, who was also his first organ teacher, and his father, András Virágh, are both notable organists. András Gábor Virágh’s childhood and youth was deeply rooted in the magic of music. He wasted no time to improve his composing and organ playing skills. Thanks to his foreign experiences and studies, he has been part of the Hungarian and European concert performer arena for the last one and a half decades. His composer works focused mainly on soloist and chamber orchestra pieces. However, in addition to his opera with an extraordinary atmosphere and a unique sound, there is another composition that has never been heard before. Now we will have the chance to hear the world premiere of his Sinfonietta composed by the artist in 2013. This piece was composed at the request of the Liszt Academy, but the planned premiere could not take place. This piece was supposed to be played at the beginning of the concert, like an overture, so the composition’s duration was maximized in 12 minutes. This is how the composer gave an account of the creation of his Sinfonietta (small symphony):
“I wanted to give a solemn tone to the beginning of the piece by using my own musical interpretation. Since I rarely compose for an orchestra, over the years I collected many ideas in my mind on what to write for an orchestra. These ideas were by-products of the creative work when I was composing the soloist and chamber music pieces. This request came in the best moment. Since the last orchestral music I composed two years ago, I reconsidered many things on how to manage the orchestra as a whole.
I divided the time I had available for the composition into three main phases, but as I was composing the piece I decided to associate these three phases with three separate movements of the composition.”
I believe the titles of these movements simply speak for themselves:
Musica festiva, Notturno, Finale.
Klára Kovács, translated by László Kiss