Gabor Finta’s new composition performed
May 20th 2010
Gabor Finta’s Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra was performed by NAC violinist Edvard Skerjanc and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa on April 24th 2010. The composition was written at the special request of Edvard Skerjanc for violin and piano first and was performed in that form in 2009. Mr Finta subsequently orchestrated the piece and it received its première to the enjoyment of the audience with Mr Skerjanc and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. For more information about the concert, click here.
World Première of Gabor Finta’s “dona nobis pacem”
Gabor Finta’s latest composition, a choral work “dona nobis pacem” received its world première performance on Sunday, April 18th 2009 at the Unitarian Church of Ottawa as part of a three choir concert “Choral Bouquet.” The work was sung jointly by the Choir of the First Unitarian Congregation, the Ottawa Hungarian Choir and the Kanata Choral Society. The performance was conducted by Beatrix Finta, choirmaster and musical director of the Ottawa Hungarian Choir. There is a review of the event in the Epoch Times online version at: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16078/
You can read about Gabor below. By scrolling down on this page and clicking on the links, you can listen to Gabor’s “Hungarian Folk Song Suite 5” and a montage of his “Sinfonietta Canadiana” which provides the musical entry into our website www.hungarianpresence.ca . We hope to have a digital copy of the new work on the site soon.
Gabor Finta was born and educated in Hungary. His post-secondary musical studies between 1963-1970 led to a Master’s degree in piano, choral conducting and music education from the Franz Liszt Academy (University) of Music, Budapest. There were several Kossuth Prize winner musicians among his professors: composer Erzsébet Szonyi, Sándor Szokolay and conductors István Párkai, Zoltán Vásárhelyi. Additional studies at the International Musikseminar, in Weimar, Germany (1968, 1969) included piano studies with Guido Agosti, Italy, and orchestral conducting with Arvid Jansons, St. Petersburg (Leningrad at that time) Symphony.
In 1999 he received a certificate as Internet/Intranet Programmer Specialist from Algonquin College, Ottawa. This helped him to create a website complete with ear training for students of music that is widely used in Canada and abroad.
After graduation he taught at the Liszt Academy’s and later became the director of the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Miskolc. Between 1976-1981 he wrote weekly music reviews for the daily paper Északmagyarország.
After immigrating to Canada in 1982 he taught piano (his students won many prizes in local and provincial competitions; among them first prize in the 1991 Ontario Young Artist competition, conducted several community orchestras and appeared as soloist in Ottawa, Brandon, Calgary, London, Brockville.
Adjudicated frequently choir festivals in Hungary and also in Canada (Queen’s University). Served as adjudicator in music festivals (Ottawa, Brockville, Kingston).
He also instructed at several universities across Canada as guest professor. Mr. Finta is also an experienced adjudicator, he often judged choral and piano competitions both in Hungary and Canada and has been examining for the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto for seven years. Since 2000 he has taught theory courses at the University of Ottawa Summer Music program.
Presently, he is teaching piano and theory in his studio and is an instructor of piano at Carleton University.
Hungarian Folk Song Suite 5
Montage from Sinfonietta Canadiana
Gabor Finta’s compositions have been performed in Canada, Hungary and Romania and even in Japan. These include pieces written for piano, orchestra, chorus and various other instruments. In 1998 one of his choral compositions won first prize at an international competition in Romania.
In 2001 published a textbook (Practical Guide to Harmony) for students wishing to take examinations at various musical institutions.
His compositions were also performed at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and various other occasions. Artists playing his works here include Julian Armour, Jerry and Janos Csaba, Jean Desmarais, Stephane Lemelin, Dina Namer, Andrew Tunis, Edvard Skerjanc, Anette-Barbara Vogel and others.
His compositions display his double Hungarian-Canadian identity. The compositions use elements from both nations’ folk heritage. The Lullaby (piano) is based on an Iroquois melody, the Hungarian Folk Song Suite (piano duet) draws on Hungarian folk songs, and the Sinfonietta Canadiana (string orchestra) showcases Canadian melodies intertwined with a Hungarian tune.
Peggy Atherton wrote in the Program Notes at the premiere performance of th Sinfonietta Canadiana (Sinfonia Ottawa, 2006 March 25, Ottawa, Saint Andrews Church):
“The Sinfonietta Canadiana, written for Sinfonia Ottawa and its conductor János Csaba, and heard for the first time this evening in its entirety, is scored for string quartet, string orchestra and “concertante” piano.
The composer has used folk songs from Quebec and Newfoundland, most of which are well known to all Canadians. The first movement, written in sontata form, is based on the popular songs “D’oú viens-tu , bergère?”, “Vive la Canadienne” and “I’se By that Builds the Boat.” The slow and lyrical second movement is written in a free form, and features the “Blooming Bright Star of Belle Isle”. The third movement is a series of variations on the well-known Newfoundland folk song “There is Lots of Fish in Bonavist’ Harbour”. Along the tune is presented playfully in 5/8, 7/8 6/8 and 9/8 time Gabor Finta also manages to include a fugue, and a Hungarian folk tune as a counter melody in this movement.”
He wrote several compositions for the Ottawa Hungarian Choir led by his wife, Beatrix Finta. The choir sung together with many other choirs in Canada, Hungary and Transylvania (Romania). For all these occasions he wrote a piece for the joint choirs as well.
In 2000 the Ottawa Hungarian Choir celebrated the Hungarian Millenium in Hungary. They performed Finta works with other choirs in Ózd (his birthplace), Zirc, Bicske, Ópusztaszer and Budapest.
In 2005 the Ottawa Hungarian Choir participated in a Choral Festival in Szerencs together with the local choir and two other choirs from Transylvania (Romania). Gabor Finta conducted his own piece written for the joint choirs.
In April 2007 the Ottawa Hungarian Choir will be celebrating its 15 years of existence with a concert at the First Unitarian Congregation together with the Kanata Choral Society and the Chalice Choir of the Unitarian Congregation. Gabor Finta will again conduct his own piece written for the joint choirs.
Lullaby (Gabor Finta, piano);
Fun-Teasea (Anette-Barbara Vogel, Julian Armour, Jean Desmarais;
CBC recording Hungarian Folk Song Suite (Stèphane Lemelin and Andrew Tunis, piano - Recorded by J. Jarvlepp);
Sinfonietta Canadiana (Sinfonia Ottawa, Janos Csaba cond, - recoded by Tom Barnes)