Hao Huang Receives Exclusive Honor in Hungary

Professor Hao Huang performs a program of American music at the Regional Centre of the Hungarian academy of sciences, Veszprem Castle, as part of the conference "America Week," in spring 2008.

Professor of Music Hao Huang received an unexpected honor this spring during his 2008 Fulbright residency at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary. The director of the Forenc Liszt Memorial Museum and research center in Budapest invited Huang to return next year to perform a solo piano recital or duo recital with his wife, violinist Rachel Vetter Huang. According to Huang, very few foreign musicians are invited to perform at the former residence of the great Hungarian composer and national hero. Huang was also granted access to the archives at the Research Center, where he learned more about Liszt’s performing and teaching practices during the late 19th century. “This is very exciting, given my long-held personal interest in Liszt,” says a delighted Huang.

While on his Fulbright, Huang taught courses at the university on religious musical traditions in the United States and a graduate course on the issue of race in American music, specifically jazz and blues. “I was honored to have some of my Hungarian students tell me that my class was the best that they had taken at the University,” says Huang.

As an active concert pianist, Huang also performed nine concerts (of mainly American music), at locations ranging from the American Ambassador’s compound in Budapest to recitals in Rzeszow in Poland and Venasque in France. Huang was invited to give lectures on connections between American jazz poetry, and music for Amerikai Estek (American evenings) at Eotvos Lorand University and for America Week at the University of Pannonia.

As a follow-up to his lectures, Huang was also invited to write an article on American jazz poetry and music for the Hungarian English and American Studies Journal published by the University of Debrecen, Hungary.

The dean of humanities at ELTE, Dr. Tamas Dezso, initiated preliminary discussions with Professor Huang about possibly returning as a guest research scholar to do collaborative work with a few of his faculty. While in Budapest, Huang made use of the opportunity to do significant research in the Bartok Archives housed in the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

This summer, Huang visited Xiamen University, PRC, with a music faculty delegation, as part of the College’s continuing relationship with Xiamen University to expand its international and outreach programs, which began in the summer of 2007.