Berlin, Germany – WOMEX announced this week the winner of 10th Annual WOMEX Award for World Music. The award goes to Hungarian band Muzsikás. This is the group of artists who put Hungarian folk music on the international map. With their collaborations with Márta Sebastyén, and now in their superlative work since she departed, they have been the foremost ambassadors for music from Hungary, with a special emphasis on music from Transylvania.
"Without Muzsikás, the Hungarian "táncház (dancehouse)" movement, the special Hungarian klezmer-revival and the bridge between Hungarian folk music and Béla Bartók’s work would not exist," says Csaba Lokös, Promoter of the world music stage at the Sziget Festival and a long-term collaborator with the artists.
;"If ou want to hear Hungarian traditional music at its best then start with Muzsikás," says Songlines editor Simon Broughton. "They can play with the authenticity and energy of a real village band, but also make sense of that music for an international audience in a big concert hall. Muzsikás know their music inside out – they have been to the Transylvanian villages where it is played and have worked with the master musicians who live the music. In Hungary, the band have brought traditional Hungarian music to thousands of school kids showing its beauty and relevance. Sadly, as the villages of Romania catch up with the rest of Europe, this music is disappearing. The international success of Muzsikás not only makes the music better known, but helps it survive at source as people realize that it has a value internationally."
Muzsikás will be performing live at WOMEX to close the Sunday Awards ceremony on the 2nd of November 2008.
The WOMEX Award is now ten years old. "In the past we have alternated our honours between the extraordinary artists and professionals from our community," says the WOMEX press release. "This year we have decided to present two WOMEX Awards, one to Muzsikás and the other to the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland."