Interview with László Dés, One of the Most Prominent Figures of the Hungarian Music Scene

László Dés has been one of the most remarkable figures of the Hungarian music scene for more than 40 years having won all the national prizes a musician could long for. He wrote music for famous Hungarian films such as Szerelem első vérig, Üvegtigris or Sose halunk meg; and countrywide popular musicals like The Jungle Book or The Paul Street Boys. He has worked together with the most acknowledged members of the industry and he is highly respected by both the critics and the audience. Most importantly, he was born in Budapest. No wonder that he is one of a few we pose our questions about the Hungarian capital to. You can hear him showing his talent on 5 Aug at Jazz Picnic of Paloznak nearby Balatonfüred.

What do you think is the biggest change that has happened in the national music industry since you started your career?

There is no good news: so far the biggest change has been the crash of the recording industry and its consequences including the proliferation of „one hit wonders” and the hardships of the studios. Even if songs are recorded in a professional studio, they are marked by low budget.

In Jazz Picnic at Paloznak you will be playing with Random Trip. Where did the idea of collaboration come from?

Last year Jávor Delov invited me to play on one of their biggest concerts, which I was happy to accept. Since it was a positive experience, we continued playing together.

Except for this one, what ongoing projects are you working on?

I would like to take a little brake after having written The Paul Street Boys and A Streetcar Named Desire plays. I will soon start to form the concept and musical structure of my own tour as well as compose new songs.

Is there any music award you haven’t received yet but would love to?

Not really. You can long for a great number of things; as for me, my biggest dream is that my plays would be performed abroad.

Whose opinion counts the most to you?

I mostly honour the opinion of the audience and, of course, that of fellow musicians.

Are you planning to attend any of the summer festivals as a visitor?

No, because of the break I told you about before. I will go to the Jazz Festival of Paloznak, of course.

What is your favourite place in Budapest?

I love playing in MÜPA, the Budapest Music Center and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music because their acoustics are excellent. Nevertheless, I prefer playing outdoors if the circumstances are adequate.

Do you prefer Pest or Buda?

Both. I have lived in Buda all my life.

If not in Budapest, where would you like to live?

In Tuscany, Italy.

If you could change one thing about Budapest, what would it be?

The craziness.