Florence Sitruk's Harp Masterclass in Hungary

Harp Masterclass
 22-29 July 2012

Prof. Florence Sitruk

(Haute Ecole de Musique of Geneva)
for music academy students and young professionals

Preparing for competitions, with lessons everyday
The price for the full masterclass including meals: 400 and 320 €

Location: Károlyi Mansion, Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary (80 km from Budapest)

26th July 2012

Solo recital of Agne Keblyte (Vilnius, Lithuania)
gold medallist and special prize winner of the best interpretation of Hungarian music at the International Harp Competition in Szeged, Hungary in 2010

27th July 2012

Solo recital of Florence Sitruk
"Hommage à György Sebők: 90th anniversary of the world-famous pianist and padagogue"
Harp transcriptions of piano pieces


For further information: kastely@karolyi.org.hu
Tel: +36 22 578 080 Fax: +36 22 578 081
Application: please send biographies until June 15th to this e-mail address:
kastely@karolyi.org.hu, and to Florence Sitruk's e-mail address:

Nagyobb térképre váltás

Florence Sitruk has done pioneering work to the harp as a soloist, a teacher and festival director. Born in 1974, she studied at the Paris Conservatory, and gained the Artist Diploma from Indiana University/USA with Susann McDonald and legendary pianist György Sebök whom she calls both decisive for her musical development. In addition, she holds degrees in musicology and philosophy from Freiburg University, and studied historical performance practice with Robert Hill, harpsichordist. Since her debut at the age of 15 with the Camerata Academica Salzburg under Sandor Végh, she concertizes regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Lucerne Festival Strings, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Freiburg Baroque Soloists, the Lithuanian Philharmonic and Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Neusser Kammerakademie, the Festival Orquestra da Paz/Brazil, the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra or the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with which she gave her live broadcasted debut at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and has since been returning every year. Solo recitals have taken her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Rudolfinum Prague, Opéra Bastille Paris, the Tower 101 Taipei or the Teatro da Paz/Belem, the Musikhalle Hamburg, to name a few; as well as in the season 2009/10 to the Glinka Hall/St. Petersburg, to Hongkong, Shanghai, the Muséiques Festival Basel/CH on invitation of Gidon Kremer, to Hobart/Tasmania, to the Niedersächsische Musiktage, with partners such as Albrecht Mayer, oboe or Hartmut Rohde, viola, and as a soloist to the Gewandhaus Leipzig, to mark the musical friendship between Mendelssohn Bartholdy and harpist Elias Parish Alvars.

Florence Sitruk won more than seven national and international top prizes (Paris, Brussels, Indiana University), among which the 1st prize in the Rome International Competition Valentino Bucchi for Music of the 20th century put her immediately on the international platform. She went then on to win the selection of the "Debut at the DeutschlandRadio" at the Berlin Philharmonic as first German harpist ever. She was also the first harpist to be nominated for the Eurovision Contest of Classical Music in Brussels by the European Broadcasting Union. It is especially the music of the 20th and 21st century which is strongly supported in her repertoire and to which she is a dedicated and intelligent advocate through exquisite programming.

At the same time she is at the head of the revival of virtuoso Elias Parish Alvars (1808-1849), the so-called Liszt of the harp, and consequently founded a festival in the composer's native town in Devon/England. She is also a festival director of the long-established St. Christopher Festival in Vilnius/Lithuania.

Florence Sitruk & Agne Keblyte

Florence Sitruk is professor of harp at the Haute Ecole de Musique of Geneva, and since her appointment in 2005 the youngest professor in her field. It is a position she also holds at the Lithuanian Music Academy Vilnius/Lithuania since the age of 26, where she has established in pioneering work a succesful harp department. Her talent class set up one third of the international young top players at the Xth World Harp Congress 2008 in Amsterdam.

Agne Keblyte was born in 1990 in Vilnius/Lithuania and in 2000 she began her harp studies with Daiva Slyziene, while also attending masterclasses by Prof. Florence Sitruk. Twice she was selected to perform at the Focus on Youth concerts at the World Harp Congress - in Dublin in 2005 and Amsterdam in 2008.She recently received an award from the Lithuanian president for her remarkable musical achievements. In 2010 Agnė won the first prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of Hungarian music at the International Harp Competition in Szeged, Hungary. In 2011 together with Joana Daunyte she won second prize as a harp duo at the ‘Concurso Iberico’ competition of chamber music with harp, in Madrid, Spain. Now Agnė is a student at Geneva Music Conservatoire where she continues her studies with Florence Sitruk.

About the Károlyi Mansion: The estate goes back to the 17th century. The 19th century Mansion was built over a Baroque L-shaped smaller manor-house owned by the Perényi and Berényi families. The present building dates form 1844. It was built after a neo-classical model by the Austrian architect Heinrich Koch, as a second home for the family of Count György Károlyi. The latter’s grandson, Count Joseph Károlyi (1884-1934), had it rebuilt in 1910 – this was the last major reconstruction work. The shape of the inner courtyard dates from that period as well as the elliptical, cupola-topped library, and the laying-out of the two gardens: the pleasure garden and a landscape garden in front of the wooded part. The landscape architect was in 1911 János Hein.

In September 1944, as the war front drew nearer, the Károlyi family left the Mansion. In 1945 the Mansion was nationalised by communist authorities and totally looted. The Károlyi family was forced to leave the country in 1947 and settled in France. Like many a Hungarian monument, it underwent many changes in use and administration, which had a strong negative impact. It worked as a children’s home from 1949 to 1979, first for Greek abducted children, later for Hungarian orphans. Although it was listed in the early 1950s as a major national heritage building and despite some maintenance work in the mid-1980s, the building and the park were slowly going to seed.

1993 was a turning point: the situation began to improve, as administration of the estate was entrusted to a Hungarian state institution supervised by the National Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments. In 1997, an important reconstruction and rehabilitation programme was launched on the initiative of the Joseph Károlyi Foundation (set up in 1994), which aimed to create a Cultural Encounter Centre focused on Hungary’s opening to Europe. In 1997, a long-term lease (99 years) was signed, enabling the reconstruction and cultural development of the Mansion in partnership with the Hungarian state institution as administrator. In 2001 a company limited by shares, created and owned by the Károlyi family, took over from the state institution as administrator of the whole estate. From then on, the Foundation was free to promote simultaneously its two major activities: restoring the Mansion and setting up cultural activities.

At present, the building has been insulated, the roof and shell have been redone. The two pavilions and side wings have been completely restored. Hopefully the central building will be utterly restored in 2008-2009. The last step will be the restoration of the outbuildings and their ultimate conversion into hotel facilities.