Silence instead? – On the 40th anniversary of a banned concert

classical music

11.09.2020 Friday 19.00

September 11, 1980: The non-governmental opposition organization SZETA (Fund for Supporting the Poor) is to hold a charity concert in the auditorium of Iparterv, but authorities ban the event.

September 11, 2020: Young artists, a group of friends organize a concert at FUGA on the 40th anniversary of the banned SZETA concert. What was left behind then, can herewith become an even more vivid memory.

Hosts: Máté Balogh and Renátó Fehér

In Memoriam László Rajk



Zoltán Jeney: Tandori-song – In memoriam László Rajk

Performed by Judit Rajk – vocals

Franz Schubert: Sonatina

Performed by: Tamás Zétényi – cello, Marcell Dargay – piano

György Kurtág – János Pilinszky: Gérard de Nerval (to Zoltán Kocsis)

Performed by: Tamás Zétényi – cello

Máté Balogh: The Guide For The Perplexed (for Maimonides) – premiere

Performed by Judit Rajk – vocals

Claude Debussy: Petite Suite – transcript by Zoltán Kocsis

Performed by: Tamás Zétényi – cello, Marcell Dargay – piano


Founded in 1979, SZETA was a spontaneous organization with the aim of helping families who were excluded from state care but in need. Its members raised money and collected clothes from various private supporters. Donations were handed out to the families directly. The fundraising began right at the time of its foundation, the first aid was handed out in December 1979. The beneficiaries were selected by the SZETA members themselves – (mainly Roma) families in need whom they met during their own sociological fieldwork. In addition to the regular assistance of those selected, SZETA members took part in a number of opposition demonstrations, and the organization also launched its own activities. As Ottilia Solt said about the concert planned for September 1980 in the samizdat Beszélő (issue 1985/1) : “Bálint [Nagy] considered it important to establish some kind of an independent, cultural public and offered this plan to SZETA. To us, on the other hand, this idea seemed to be a good promotion and a much more joyful way of collecting money than roundabouting. The program would have started in the autumn of 1980 with a concert by Zoltán Kocsis, for which Rajk acquired the auditorium of Iparterv. The Ministry of Interior realized the significance of the plan at the last moment, and issued to close down the auditorium abruptly. The audience was greeted by a sign at the street entrance that stated “concert canceled”. Some two hundred of us stood on the street for a while, even a police car appeared, but the patrol commander demonstratively unhooked his truncheon, put it in the car, while calling for the crowd to disperse. With this we learned that we will have to move into private homes.