2022 PERFORMERS

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LEVENTE PÁLVÖLGYI

Hungary

Levente is 17 years old. He is a student of the Woodside Priory School with a scholarship from Pannonhalma Benedictine High School.
He started doing athletics at the age of 4 in the IKARUS sports club. He is the National Champion and League winner in 3000 m flat, 2000 m steeplechase and 400 m relay. He won twice the best athlete of his age group in the Dortmund athletics competition. He broke the school records in one mile and two miles flat races for Priory. His goal is to sing the Hungarian national anthem on the podium at the Olympics.
He danced in the Csepp-Csepel Dance Group until the age of 15. Even while studying at Pannonhalma, he had difficulty learning to dance, but since studying in America he has not had the opportunity to practice. For this festival, he revives his skills and dances with his sister Flora.
He passed his intermediate English exam 3 years ago. He is also studying French. He has also started to obtain his driving licence.

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KRISTÓF PÁLVÖLGYI

Hungary

Kristóf is 13 years old. He is a student at an English Bilingual School. He has been studying classical and folk cimbalom since the age of 6. In 2021, he was awarded 1st and 2nd prizes in the chamber music and solo categories at the 10th National Rácz Aladár Cimbalom Competition.
He has also been practicing Shotokan Karate for 5 years. Develops endurance, discipline, focus and stamina. After winning multiple National Championships, he became World Champion 2nd place last year. This March he won the European Championship in Serbia.
Since the age of 3 she has been dancing folk dance with the Csepp-Csepel Dance Company and for three years with the Pannonia Dance Company. They have participated in numerous national and international festivals, theatre shows and solo dance competitions. On 04.06.2021, she won the National Small Bocce Ballet Award for the best folk  dancers of the country at the National Solo Dance Competition for Children's Folk Dancers, with her dances in the Fieldland Kanas and Széki, which she will perform at the festival.
From September 2021, he had been performing as a child actor and dancer in the Hungarian National Theatre's productions of The Hunt and The Stars of Egri.

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FLÓRA PÁLVÖLGYI

Hungary

Flóra is 16 years old. She is a student of Patrona Hungariae Catholic High School. Since the age of 6, she has been folk dancing in Csepp-Csepel Dance Group and then in the Kokányok Dance Group. She participates in many national and international festivals and ceremonies.
She did rhythmic gymnastics until the age of 12, and then she also did athletics with her brother Levente for a few years. She has achieved podium finishes in several competitions. She switched to badminton 4 years ago to prepare for competitions.
In primary school she played the flute, and since secondary school she has been studying guitar.
At the age of 14, she passed the intermediate English language exam. In addition to English, she is learning German and Spanish.
She loves to paint, her paintings have been exhibited in an artist gallery and several pieces have been sold on an auction.

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ESZTERLÁNC HUNGARIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE

San Francisco, Bay Area

The Eszterlanc Hungarian Folk Ensemble is a performing group based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to promote and present traditional Hungarian folk dances and to preserve the history of Hungarian folk culture in all its forms.
The dance group has been celebrating and showcasing Hungarian folk culture in the Bay Area since 1977 through presentations to the Hungarian community and the general public.
The Ensemble consists of twenty to forty  adults ranging from age 14 and up. Most are of Hungarian heritage, although membership has never been limited to those with Hungarian backgrounds. The dancers receive their training in the Ensemble as well as from guest teachers and at workshops statewide.
The community served by Eszterlanc is vast, as appearances include international festivals, social events, patriotic holidays, and ethnic events. The Hungarian community alone, the group's most supportive audience, numbers in the tens of thousands in California.

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FORRÁS HUNGARIAN FOLK BAND

Vancouver, Canada

Forrás Banda (pronounced: FOUR-rahsh BUN-duh) was formed in 1997. Since then it has grown to become a driving force in the Hungarian folk scene in North America. The ensemble plays traditional village music from Central Europe and its members have regularly studied with master musicians in Hungary and Transylvania.

Forrás Banda’s performances are both entertaining and educational as the players present the traditional lifestyle and work of the peasant musician. They have a broad repertoire accompanying dance troops, presenting musical concerts and the traditional Táncház (Hungarian folk dance parties).

Forrás Banda prides itself in the authenticity of its music. Their work focuses on the acquisition, preservation and presentation of their Hungarian musical heritage. Their repertoire also includes music of Romanian and Romani origin but particularly focuses on music from Transylvania. They play stringed instruments such as violin, a modified viola called the kontra and double bass.

Forrás Banda also plays more unique instruments such as the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), furulya (shepherd’s flutes), duda (bagpipes), ütőgardon (percussive cello), tapán (moldavian drum), koboz (moldavian lute) and tambura (tamburica).

Residing in Vancouver and Seattle the band performs regularly entertaining audiences across Canada and the US.

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KÁRPÁTOK HUNGARIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE

Los Angeles

Kárpátok Hungarian Folk Ensemble of Los Angeles was founded in 1965 by a group of young Hungarian immigrants wishing to preserve their heritage. The ensemble is a lasting legacy of the 1956 generation in LA. The name “Kárpátok”, after the Carpathian Mountains, was chosen as a symbol of greater Hungary and the ensemble’s repertoire includes examples from all three dance dialects: Transdanubia, the Great Hungarian Plains and Transylvania. Through the years, more than 500 members have participated in Kárpátok. This figure becomes even more significant when one realizes that no member receives any monetary benefits.
Kárpátok Hungarian Folk Ensemble was celebrating its 55thAnniversary in 2020, days before the start of the shut-down. After a 400 day break caused by the pandemic the group started rehearsing and performing again a year ago. Their artistic work and mission were made possible by the financial support of the Hungarian Government through the Bethlen Gábor and the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Programs.

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LÁSZLÓ TIHANYI

Oakland, California

László Tihanyi is a native of Hungary and has resided in Oakland, California since September 2013.

Since his arrival, László has been the Assistant Artistic Director and Principal Dancer of Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Dance Ensemble.

His background as an amateur Hungarian folk dancer and dance teacher has led the group to invite him from Hungary for leadership and teaching roles in the United States.

László received his Bachelor of Science in Hungarian folk dancing and folk dance coaching from the Dance Academy Budapest, Hungary.

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DIANA PRAY – SOPRANO

San Francisco, Bay Area

Soprano Diana Pray specializes in early, Baroque, and modern music, making her Bay Area singing career with companies including the American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, Volti, and sfSound.
She is happy to perform at the Hungarian Heritage Festival for a third year and thanks its organizers, and all Bay Area Hungarian groups and performers, for countless opportunities to live her heritage through music.

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KINGA TÓTH and JÓZSEF BAKY

Los Angeles

Kinga Tóth:
My love of the theater started in fourth grade with the lead role in the Christmas play. During my school years I played several leading and supporting roles. In college I was nominated for an Irene Ryan acting scholarship for originating the role of young Russian immigrant Tina (the character does not speak at all for the first half of the play) in the drama Aliens by Stephen Morris. After college I studied at the Howard Fine Acting Studio - one of the premier acting schools in the country - and have performed with three different Hungarian-American theater companies, one of which I am the co-founder and director. I started singing at a young age as well, inspired by my parents' love of music, and minored in voice at university. My repertoire of over 300 Hungarian folk songs has me singing often at Hungarian-American community events, and I have performed with the Hargita- and Kárpátok Hungarian folk dance ensembles. I am a seasoned emcee in both Hungarian and English, and have a few small film credits, as well.
József Baky:
My artistic career began in Transylvania, where I performed in several amateur acting troupes, and as a musician in the band Orizont. After 1990, I continued my career in Hungary as a musician, cantor, entertainer and Master of Fun, as well as in hundreds of weddings and shows as a musician, Master of Ceremonies, program organizer, or host. In addition to singing, I play keyboard, violin, accordion, and a little guitar and in more recent years have had a couple of violin students. I have lived in the U.S. for several years, first coming here as an entertaining musician. I came and went for a while per multiple invitations, and then from 2010 I stayed in the States for good. I have played the buffo (comic male lead) role in several operettas here. My wife Kinga and I co-founded the Hollywood Hungarian Chamber Theatre with the aim of being able to bring our works to more audiences due to having fewer actors and smaller, more portable productions.

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FIRST CALIFORNIA HUSSAR REGIMENT

San Francisco, Bay Area

This equestrian organization was established in 2000 in Los Gatos, CA.

Educate the public about the interwoven history of the US and Hungary: 1) In 1776, a Hungarian Hussar officer established and trained the US Cavalry for George Washington. 2) Hungarian soldiers participated in the American Revolution for Independence and the Civil War. 3) Americans helped to preserve Hungarian National Treasures during WWII.

Enjoy by providing colorful entertainment for the public and providing lessons to young people who learn about the equestrian heritage and all the associated skills.

Anyone can become a Hussar (riding or none riding) by joining the First California Hussar Regiment by following the information below: www.californiahussars.com