With names like Franz Liszt, Franz Erkel, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and the contemporary composer Péter Eötvös, Hungarian music and its composers are known the world over. What is more, dozens of Hungarian artists, conductors, singers, dancers and soloists continue to perform before rapturous audiences in all corners of the earth. They represent not only modern Hungary, but also work hard to preserve the rich traditions of local folk and gypsy music.
Discover their creative roots in the cultural melting pot of Budapest or travel up  the Danube through countryside that represents the musical soul of all of Central Europe, in all its fun and sophistication.
Those wishing to enjoy top-quality concerts, explore fascinating yet hidden museums or perform a concert as an orchestra or choir have come to the right place. With Contact Incentives, Budapest, and Hungary, is the perfect destination.

The piano room of Liszt in Budapest

Discover the real Hungary – Specialist Liszt Tours

So, you thought Franz Liszt was Austrian? Think again. The phenomenal pianist, conductor, composer, music teacher and visionary was born in 1811 as Ferenc Liszt in the village of Doborján, now known as Raiding but then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The musical prodigy discovered his passion for the piano and sheet music as early as six years old. 

Taken under the wing of the Hungarian elite, he studied and perfected his skills in Vienna, Paris, Geneva and London. Liszt was close friends with Hector Berlioz, Frédéric Chopin and Richard Wagner, living for many years in Weimar, Paris and Rome. He was once even received at Windsor Castle by Queen Victoria herself.

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The Bartókhouse in Budapest

Follow the musical hunter gatherer – Bartók Special Tour

Béla Bartók's international reputation is founded not only on his work as a concert pianist and composer, but also on his legendary research as a music ethnomusicologist. Bartók travelled throughout Romania, Slovakia, Transylvania and parts of the Middle East collecting more than 10,000 folk songs, all of which he phonographed or documented in the form of sheet music.

Through his close friendship with Zoltán Kodály, Bartók also learned to appreciate Hungarian folk music, which he meticulously compiled on his travels through provincial Hungary.

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The concert hall of Kódaly in Budapest

Meet the “Young Barbarians” – Kodály Special Music Tour

Even though Zoltán Kodály will go down in history as a ground-breaking teacher, it was for the unusual sound of his new Hungarian chamber music that he became known for among his peers in Europe and America. The strange sounding compositions of Kodály and Bartók earned them the nickname of the “Young Barbarians”. Kodály's international breakthrough came with his Psalmus Hungaricus and the performances of several of his pieces by Arturo Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic.

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Hungarian folk dance in Budapest

Take to the dance floor – Special folk music and dance tours

It was not just Bartók and Kodály who were fascinated by the authentic power of Hungarian folk music and wished to explore its roots. Contact Incentives specialised tours introduce you to folk music bands that are continuing the work of the famous Hungarian ethnographers by gathering musical heritage from all  regions of Hungary. The influences of Romanian, Jewish and many other cultures represented throughout the country have shaped remarkably dynamic musical traditions down the centuries.

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The Gypsy Ensemble in Budapest/Ungarn

Arousing passions – Gypsy Music Special Tour

The composition of a Gypsy band is familiar: Alto violin, viola, cimbalom, clarinet and lead violin. The result of this explosive combination of instruments is the characteristically fiery Gypsy music that has exerted a major influence on Hungarian culture and society. The instrumentation of these Gypsy ensembles was a response to the growing bourgeoisie dating back to the 16th century, when Gypsy musicians played an important role as providers of private entertainment.

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