Béla Bartók International Choir Competition and Folklore Festival

A heaven of contemporary choral music

If you appreciate contemporary choral art or just wish to take part in a choral competition of the highest standards, you should not miss the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition.

Renowned as one of the most prestigious choral music events in the world for the past sixty years, this competition is open to both amateur and professional choirs. Numerous ensembles and conductors have gained international recognition following their initial successes in Debrecen.

However, there is a lot more to this event beyond competing: world premieres of choral and orchestral music, professional lectures, masterclasses in conducting, street pop-up concerts, charity music performances, church concerts, culinary programmes and a colourful folklore festival all contribute to its gorgeous atmosphere.

Considering all that, it is not surprising at all that BBCC has been the birthplace of lots of amazing musical experiences as well as professional relationships and close friendships spanning over decades and continents.

BBCC is also a member of the association European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. The winner of BBCC’s Grand Prize is invited to the Competition for the “European Grand Prix for Choral Singing,” held every year alternately in Arezzo, Debrecen, Maribor, Tolosa, Tours and Varna to choose the winner among the best.

BBCC is organized biannually at the beginning of July, consisting of semi-finals, finals and a Grand Prize competition. Choirs may enter in the following categories: children’s choirs, youth choirs, equal voices, vocal ensembles, chamber choirs and mixed choirs.

In both the semi-final and the final rounds of each category, a compulsory piece – written by a Hungarian composer – is to be performed. The optional programme in both rounds must contain exclusively contemporary choral works composed after 26th September, 1945 (i.e., the date of Bartók’s death) or any piece in Bartók’s entire oeuvre. A highly experienced international jury decides on which of the competing choirs deserve the exquisite prizes.

Kölcsey Convention Centre

Impressive exterior to match a rich interior content

Kölcsey Convention Centre, with its 13 000 m2 area, is second to none among conference centres in Eastern Hungary, located in the heart of Debrecen, in the vicinity of the Great Reformed Church and the Main Square.

It is a state-of-the-art conference venue, while also a prominent cultural centre of Hungary. Thanks to its high standards throughout technical and aesthetic requirements, ample spaces and outstanding services, a rich array of professional and cultural events can easily be organized within its walls.

The designer of the center visualized such an „omniscient” building that can be the perfect ambience for international conferences as well as for cultural events of any kind. The designer’s dream became reality in February 2006, when the construction of the new Kölcsey Convention Centre was finally completed. The center is located exactly at the site where once stood the house of the author of the Hungarian national anthem, Ferenc Kölcsey.

As the inner core of the building bears the shape of a cylinder, upon entering the center, one feels virtually entwined by the walls.

While the enormous sized windows let the light freely flow in from outside, the ample wood panelling, made of birch, maple and okoumé, radiates a feeling of cleanliness, warmth, and friendliness.

Under the light and airy outer skin, the center has a built-in 21st-century technical background, making Kölcsey Centre the excellent location for conferences, symposiums, large scale exhibitions, balls and gala nights, even up to 1500 guests.
The center boasts 12 event rooms, including the Grand Hall with the capacity of 1.200 seats and 8 sections rooms that can be easily fitted to size by mobile walls. An exhibition room and an elegant ballroom are also located in the building, while the spacious foyer and the sunlit longue are also excellent locations for exhibitions and receptions.

You will be pampered with a whole range of services offered by the **** hotel, sharing the same building complex with Kölcsey Convention Centre and MODEM (Modern and Contemporary Arts Centre). An opportunity of direct passage is ensured between the three facilities. Hotel Lycium has 87 double rooms, 4 suites, special culinary delights and a spectacular spa unit, overlooking the city centre.