Béla Bartók 29th International Choir Competition cancelled amid COVID-19 outbreak

We regret to inform you that the Municipality of Debrecen and the management of the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition had to make the unavoidable decision to cancel this year’s event.

More than 800 singers from 12 countries were scheduled to travel to Debrecen, Hungary between 8 -12 July 2020 to perform at over 40 events of contemporary choir music and international folklore. Music lovers from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Latvia, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine were practicing hard for months but due to the current situation many of them have already had to interrupt their rehearsals.

In the last few days, the COVID-19 pandemic situation escalated rapidly, turning Europe into the new epicentre of the virus. The Government of Hungary, similarly to many countries, imposed stringent restrictions, cancelling all events and closing its borders for an undefined period of time.

It has become increasingly apparent that inviting an international line-up of choirs is not only impossible but also irresponsible under the current circumstances.

Cancelling this year’s Competition is of course a huge disappointment for us and we send our deepest regrets to every one of you: singers, conductors, co-workers, partners, and all music lovers.

We were thrilled by the quality of the choirs who were chosen from the applicants this year and we hope to see this fantastic line-up for the next event that will be organised in July 2022.