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Mateusz Gwizdalla

Kodály International Music Competition 2023 Names Winners

Open to conductors, this year’s edition awarded joint second prize and €10,000 to Alexander Sinan Binder and Mateusz Gwizdalla


Held in Debrecen, Hungary, from August 20–28, 2023, the second edition of the Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition was open to conductors worldwide aged 21 to 35. 

Following the third and final round, Alexander Sinan Binder and Mateusz Gwizdalla were named joint second-prize winners, and Dániel Erdélyi was awarded the third prize with €6,000. 

Eric Staiger won the fourth prize with €4,000, while fifth prize and €3,000 went to Jiří Habart. The first and sixth prizes of this year’s competition were not awarded.

Selected from a pool of 308 applicants from 56 different countries, the five winners were part of 30 first-round candidates — including 29 men and one woman, with six candidates hailing from Hungary.

Alongside orchestral works, the candidates also performed oratorio and opera excerpts. The compulsory piece for the final was Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus, which was composed 100 years ago this year.

Chaired by Jorma Panula, the 2023 jury comprised János Ács, Peter Broadbent, Remy Franck, Zsolt Hamar, Oksana Madarash, and Dániel Somogyi-Tóth.

“The 100th anniversary of the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra this year coincides with the centenary of Psalmus Hungaricus, so we can finally realize our long-standing dream of organizing an oratorio-conducting competition in Debrecen, for which the Zoltán Kodály International Music Competition, launched last year with great success, provides a great framework,” said Somogyi-Tóth, the City of Debrecen’s general music director.


Celebrating its centenary in 2023, the Kodály Philharmonic took on the name of composer Zoltán Kodály in 2011. The orchestra performs symphonic, oratorio, chamber music, and opera performances at the Csokonai Theatre.

In partnership with JM International, its first Kodály International Music Competition in 2022 was open to violin, viola, and cello.

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