I was a musician and instrument maker in Hungary and moved to United States in October 1991 with my wife and children. The following is a summary of my activities and achievements as a musical artist.
° Petőfi Theater in Veszprém (Moricz: A Kismadár, directed by Ferenc Sík)
° Hungarian National Theater, Budapest (Csíksomlyoi Passió, directed by Imre Kerényi)
° Szegedi Szabadtéri Játékok (Csíksomlyoi Passió, directed by Imre Kerényi)
° “Honti igricek “(“The Musicians of Hont County”): TV film re-enactment of one of Béla Bartók’s research trips in 1911 in northern Hungary
° 1985: Music video with dancers in Denmark, Directed by Kovács Gerzson Péter and Szél Márta with Vasmalom
° 1991: “Bakony Area Folk Art” program
° Music clips with Vasmalom
° Various seasonal programs (Christmas and end of the year holiday traditions)
° 1989: Vasmalom I: first independently produced Hungarian album
° 1992: Vasmalom 2: several arrangements
° Márta Sebestyén’s first solo album with Muzsikás: Arrangement of the opening piece
° “Living Village Music” series, 1st and 6th releases. Solo bagpipe piece on each
Bands Worked With:
° Hungarian Bagpipe Band: one of the founding members
° Nomád Nemzedék (with Sándor Csoóri, Jr. and Péter Éri, from Muzsikás, also Béla Kása, well known photographer of Hungarian folk customs); this band fused Hungarian traditional music with elements of blues and jazz.
° 1985 – 1991: Vasmalom
o 1988: Vasmalom participated in Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD (World Of Music, Arts and Dance) Festival in Cornwall, England. The event expresses “the central aim of the WOMAD festival - to bring together and to celebrate many forms of music, arts and dance drawn from countries and cultures all over the world. WOMAD was originally inspired by Peter Gabriel: "Pure enthusiasm for music from around the world led us to the idea of WOMAD in 1980 and thus to the first WOMAD festival in 1982. The festivals have always been wonderful and unique occasions and have succeeded in introducing an international audience to many talented artists.”
° Performed occasionally with several other bands including Muzsikás, Téka, Méta, Somogy, Zengő.
° Accompanied dance ensembles as a solo musician primarily on bagpipe and flutes
° 1996: Awarded Grand Prize in Musical Instruments for bagpipes at the 12th National Folk Artists Exhibition; it was exhibited for months at the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest; I received the Folk Craftsman Award for my work making musical instruments.
° 1993: Earned “Folk Craft Artist” title for Musical Instruments
° 1985: Awarded Gold Medal in Musical Instruments for bagpipe at the National Folk Art Exhibition
Interviews, Research and
“Balkanizing the Bay “ by Sam Hurwitt, from the
June 27-July 3, 2002 issue of the North Bay Bohemian
2001: “Devil In The Pipes”, interview by Mary MacGregor-Villarreal
of ACTA, appeared in the of Living Cultures , Prospectus Issue of the
magazine of ACTA. (in English).
° Interview with Ferenc in Folk Roots magazine, England (in English).
furulya and kanásztülök (Bagpipe, Flute and Horn). Planétás
Publishers. Budapest, Hungary.
2001. 500 pages. “Fújják és
táncolnak utána”: Ferenc’s initial findings on the Hungarian Csángó
bagpipers in Moldavia, Romania.1990 (in Hungarian with English summaries).
interviews with Ferenc (in
Activities in the United
° July 2003: Ferenc Tobak Ensemble participated in the 17th Annual Mendocino Music Festival in Susan Waterfall’s concert, “Bartók’s Women”; Ferenc contributed much of the information and visual material used in the concert.
° April 2003: Organized and presented the Slavonian Traveling Band (San Francisco) in Mendocino, in a joint concert/dance with the Ferenc Tobak Ensemble.
° December 2002: Organized and presented “Bagpipe Traditions Around The Winter Solstice” in San Francisco.
° September 2002: Organized and presented a Bagpipe Festival in San Francisco.
° November 2001: Guest artist at the fourth “Toronto Táncház”, dance and music festival organized by the Hungarian community in Toronto, Canada.
° 1999: Produced “Csángó Hungarian Dances From Moldavia” as a teaching aide.
° 1999 – 2000: accepted with son, Feró, to participate in the Master/Apprentice Program funded by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) through the California Folk & Traditional Arts Apprenticeship , funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.
° 1998: Featured Artist of “Bridging The Balkans With Music” Series presented by the Slavonic Cultural Center.
° 1997 – 2000: Csángó Táncház: organized a twice a month evening for children and adults in Brisbane, CA (San Francisco peninsula) for three years. Focusing on traditional Hungarian dance and music, the evening featured live music all evening. The Children’s Program included dancing, singing, folk tales, and children’s games – the last year the entire program was accompanied by our own, “home grown” Children’s’ Band. The programming for the adults also included teaching and was also entirely to live music.
° 1992 – 2002: Major participant in the Barátság Hungarian Dance and Music Camp, Mendocino, CA; various roles included Music Instructor, Music Program Coordinator, and Director; was the key interface with the Hungarian staff in all phases including hiring, negotiating contracts/fees, and coordinating their activities before, during and after the Camp.
° 1992 – Present: Participation in local (California) Hungarian community events and celebrations by Hungarian Reformed Church, Hungarian Scouts, Hungarian Catholic Church, Eszterlánc Performing group.
° 2003: Participated with his family in "Bartok's Women" a presentation by Susan Waterfall at the Mendocino Music Festival.
° 2005-2006: accepted with daughter, Mária to participate in the Master/Apprentice Program funded by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA).
° 2005: Further documented the New Year tradition, “Urálás” of the Hungarian Csángó people living in Moldavia, Romania.
° 2005: Wrote article about the Csángó bagpipers in Vizánta; appeared in the Moldvai Magyarság, a monthly cultural paper published in Transylvania: http://www.erdely.com/moldvaimagyarsag.php#18 (in Hungarian).
° Processing the material collected in Moldavia, Romania.
° Continues active search for Hungarian Csángó bagpipers and other musicians in Moldavia, Romania as well as in Transylvania, Romani.
° Presenting some of his photographs in exhibitions.
° Working on the 2007 Drone Magic: International Festival of Bagpipes.