Modern Art Orchestra

Jazz and contemporary classical music ensemble founded by the world-known trumpetist and composer, Kornél Fekete-Kovács.

We think of music as an experience that goes beyond boundaries of musical genres. We are looking for a new sounding. Our repertoire consists of the ever fresh pieces written by the band’s composers and we take the heritage of the great Hungarian musicians, Bartók and Kodály further with respect and creativity.

To my ears this is the music of the future, where different worlds collide and create something quite fresh and adventurous.

Bob Mintzer

Jazzahead! Bremen 2022

– more about our featured setlist
We will play a medley from the compositions by our orchestra-members: János Ávéd, Kristóf Bacsó, Gábor Cseke, Kornél Fekete-Kovács and Gábor Subicz. The formation has a unique voice as a contemporary music workshop, every member can play classical, jazz, or ethnic music effortlessly resulting in a crossover among genres. The composers of the orchestra arrange their compositions dedicated to the musicians who play in the formation, and have the advantage of holding a fruitful and close musical friendship among each other for 15 years. MAO’s uniqueness is grounded in the common passion, humble and professional attitude, mastery of instrumental knowledge and freedom and creative sense towards music.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács

Artistic Director

Kornél Fekete-Kovács, the renowned composer, trumpet and flugelhorn player is a charismatic figure of the mid-generation of Hungarian Jazz. He has managed to walk on his unique artistic path since his first appearance in the Hungarian and international jazz scene.

For the past decades Kornél, while winning several awards and performing with the finest musicians and grand orchestras worldwide, engaged in projects and composed music that represents his exploring, playful and open personality. Since its 2005-foundation the Modern Art Orchestra continually has been proving that Kornél Fekete-Kovács had chosen the right track with founding an orchestra with the newest generation of jazz talents from the excellent Hungarian Liszt Ferenc Music Academy and with his fellows who are the most acknowledged musicians of the genre in the Hungarian mid-generation, like Kristóf Bacsó or János Ávéd saxophone players and the pianist, Gábor Cseke. In his vision the band is a frame for the co-working musicians who get the freedom to compose and express themselves on the highest level with their instrumental professionality. Kornél insists on keeping a fresh, ever renewing and growing contemporary repertoire of original compositions from the band’s members.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács, the renowned composer, trumpet and flugelhorn player is a charismatic figure of the mid-generation of Hungarian Jazz. He has managed to walk on his unique artistic path since his first appearance in the Hungarian and international jazz scene that started with winning the Jazz Juniors Competition in Krakow as the best group and for the best solo performance in 1993. For the past decades Kornél, while winning several awards and performing with the finest musicians and grand orchestras worldwide, engaged in projects and composed music that represents his exploring, playful and open personality. He took the step of founding and directing Budapest Jazz Orchestra in 1998 and had worked with the formation until 2005.

Since its 2005-foundation the Modern Art Orchestra continually has been proving that Kornél Fekete-Kovács had chosen the right track with founding an orchestra with the newest generation of jazz talents from the excellent Hungarian Liszt Ferenc Music Academy and with his fellows who are the most acknowledged musicians of the genre in the Hungarian mid-generation, like Kristóf Bacsó or János Ávéd saxophone players and the pianist, Gábor Cseke. In his vision the band is a frame for the co-working musicians who get the freedom to compose and express themselves on the highest level with their instrumental professionality. Kornél insists on keeping a fresh, ever renewing and growing contemporary repertoire. He keeps challenging the orchestra with a unique artistic approach towards Hungarian tradition that is marked by the Bartók and Kodály material of the band. He also puts a stress on reflecting on the current artistic context of the contemporary music scene. As a result of that the band’s six composers – János Ávéd, Kristóf Bacsó, Gábor Cseke, Kornél Fekete-Kovács, Attila Korb, Gábor Subicz – released their own albums played by MAO in the past years and the newest compositions are performed live immediately after their birth. Art of Virus is the artistic director’s most recent concept to give way of expression and an opportunity of self-reflexion for the international composers’ community while the pandemic re-writes the post-industrial cultural context.

The musician’s own compositions feed upon his deep, personal knowledge and fascination towards jazz classics, classical and contemporary music regardless of boundaries of musical genres and the humble and exploring philosophical attitude towards inner and outer human existence. Though he sparks in every situation on stage as a solo trumpet player with his outstanding, unique improvisation-style, his full capacity of artistry comes to life while he simultaneously conducts and plays with his fellow-musicians while performing with Modern Art Orchestra.

Co-operations with:
Dave Liebman, Benny Golson, Tom Harrell, Johnny Griffin, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Gary Willis, Rick Margitza, Wallace Roney, Julian Joseph, Herbie Mann, Marilyn Mazur, Kyle Gregory, Ray Anderson, Butch Lacy, Mario Gonzi, Rhoda Scott, New York Voices, Harlem Ghospel Choir, etc.

Orchestral attendance with:
IASJ Big Band (Copenhagen), the EBU Big Band (Amsterdam-Budapest), Brande International Music Workshop Orchestra (Denmark), the UMO Jazz Orchestra (Finland), the Central European Jazz Connection and the Finnish-Hungarian Jazz Workshop.

Awards:

  • 1993 Jazz Juniors Competition, Krakow – best group, best solo
  • 2000 and 2002 Artisjus Musical Foundation’s award
  • 2002 eMeRTon prize as the Best Composer of the Year Composer (prize of the National Hungarian Radio)
  • 2009 Ferenc Liszt prize (prize of the Hungarian Culture Department)
  • 2010 Orszáczky prize (prize of the Society of Hungarian Composers)
  • 2011 FONOGRAM 2011 Prize – INTEGRO/GRANDEUR The Best Hungarian Jazz Album in 2011.
  • 2018 Artisjus Musical Foundation’s award – “Performance of the year” – Modern Art Orchestra plays Béla Bartók
  • 2019 FONOGRAM 2018 Prize – Best Jazz album – Modern Art Orchestra plays Béla Bartók

 

Selected discography:

  • 1999 Blacksmith Workshop – Childhood ‘round 2000
  • 2002 Budapest Jazz Orchestra – Budapest Jazz Suite
  • 2003 Budapest Jazz Orchestra/David Liebman – The Wayfarer
  • 2005 Budapest Jazz Orchestra/Bob Mintzer – Concert of Joy
  • 2006 Modern Art Orchestra – Karácsonyi Napló
  • 2010 Fekete-Kovács Quintet/Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra – Integro/Grandeur
  • 2017 EFFECTED – Beyond The Mountain
  • 2018 Fekete-Kovács Kornél/Kuba Stankiewicz – Bridges
  • 2018 Modern Art Orchestra – plays Béla Bartók
  • 2018 Fekete-Kovács Quintet – The Fairy Queen
  • 2019 Modern Art Orchestra – Contemporary Music
  • 2020 Modern Art Orchestra – Foundations (Yamas and Niyamas)
  • 2020 Modern Art Orchestra – Dedications (feat. Dave Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Benny Golson, Tony Lakatos, Sherry Williams)

Our music

Modern Art Orchestra Plays Béla Bartók

MAO Plays the Music of Dániel Varga feat. Veronika Harcsa

HIGHLIGHTS BP 20/21 series:

from Budapest Jazz Club
from Opus Jazz Club
from Jedermann Jazz Club
Tribute to Joe Henderson

Book a concert with MAO

Anna Gáspár

Management

Kornél Fekete-Kovács

Artistic director