Kodály work banned in Pécs for fear it might offend city’s mayor
Thursday, 01 September 2011 16:08
Director Zsolt Horváth of the Pannon Philharmonics in Pécs has banned a performance of a piece by renowned composer Zoltán Kodály, for fear it might offend the city mayor. Horváth forbade the orchestra from playing Kodály’s “Peacock Variations” based on the folk song “The peacock has flown onto the county office” (The surname of Pécs mayor Zsolt Páva means “peacock”).
In a letter to the orchestra’s music director Zoltán Peskó, Horváth wrote “The public may have perceived the song as mocking Mr. Páva”. Peskó promptly resigned. Peskó included the piece in a performance for the opening of the Kodály Centre concert hall in the city. Peskó told political and literary weekly Élet és Irodalom that he considered the intervention a restriction on his freedom and therefore resigned. Páva, who is also a Fidesz MP, said “I have absolutely no objection to ‘The Peacock Variations,’ as I am not disturbed by seeing a peacock in a zoo”. He added that he has no idea of what Horváth was thinking.