Rajkó Folk Ensemble and Orchestra

Reinventing culture in style The world-renowned Rajkó Folk Ensemble and Orchestra is more than just a music group; they represent a legacy and an original heritage. 

Founded in 1952, the orchestra has set its sights on no smaller goal, than world domination with Gypsy music. This group wanted to prove that Gypsy music is worth so much more than just creating atmosphere in clubs and restaurants. They began to reorchestrate Hungarian folk music with Gypsy roots to a traditional Gypsy orchestra aiming to create a sound that has never been heard before. The Rajkó orchestra implements pieces from popular Hungarian composers such as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály into their music to form an innovative blend between Gypsy, classical and folk music. The key to their originality lays in their amazing sense of balancing between the traditional Gypsy roots and contemporary culture in creating a new sound that still carries long decades of traditions and values with itself.

The Rajkó Folklore Dance Ensemble is as prominent and impressive in their craft as their musician counterparts, and together they create a singular musical and visual experience of the Hungarian folk scene. Their original choreographies were created by some of the most talented and celebrated Hungarian choreographers such as Tibor Somogyi and Béla Szirmai who designed an original style that displays the rich Hungarian and Gypsy folk dance heritage from its deepest roots, all the way to its freshest sprouts.

The group’s current director, István Gerendás has made significant contributions to the Rajkó heritage like founding the Rajkó Art School to preserve and popularize Gypsy traditions among young people. Since their foundation, the Rajkó Folk Ensemble and Orchestra have performed in over 110 countries such as the USA, the UK, France, India, Australia, Japan, Israel or the Vatican, managing to spread the legacy of this singular and mesmerizing cultural heritage worldwide.

István Gerendási director:
István Gerendási was born is 1953. After finishing university he joined the Rajkó Ensemble in 1976 as an educator and after four years he became an education team leader. In 1990 he founded the first Hungarian art school that provides opportunities for youngsters og Gypsy origin to practice their own musical heritage. This is the Rajkó Tálentum Art school, Music and Dance Technical High School of which he was the principal from the beginning until 2006 and is currently its marketing director. His idea was the foundation of several schools around the country to grant educational opportunities even for the least fortunate and to get to know and to be able to participate in their own heritage. He has been the director of the Rajkó Folk Ensemble since 1997.

First part 
Berzsenyi-Mészáros : Palóc Dance (dancers)
Brahms : Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Orchestra)
Monti : Chardas (Orchestra)
Berzsenyi-Mészáros : Dance from Rábaköz (dancers)
Reményi : Fly, my little swallow (orchestra)
Liszt : II. Hugnarian Rhapsody (orchestra)
Berzsenyi-Mészáros : Rythmplay in Méhkerék (dancers)

Second part 
Berzsenyi-Mészáros : Dance from Kalocsa (dancers)
Farkas : Gypsy Fantasy (orchestra)
Hacsaturján : Sword dance (orchestra)
Szirmai-Farkas : Woman Bottle Dance (dancers)
Rábai-Csenki : Four Man Dance from Transylvania (dancers) / Virtuoso Cimbalom solo (orchestra)
Dinicu : Lark (orchestra)
Berzsenyi-Horváth-Mészáros : Gypsy Dance (dancers)

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