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Hungarian version

Magyar változat

LUDAS Ensemble
The ensemble
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Ludas Association

The LUDAS Ensemble is a Hungarian folk music group. It firstly appears on musical concerts and festivals, but sometimes plays in dance houses, and accompanies folk dance groups.

The group was founded in the autumn of 1998. After the time of preparation, it has appeared on stage with performances and concerts since the April of 1999. The members of the band are professional musicians. Each of them has performer examination and they have played all around the different countries of the world.

Members of the band are:

Gábor BENE: double-bass, tambur, flute, gardon

Sándor HEGEDűS: violin, double-bass, drums

Gyula RáCZ: viola, guitar, kontra, vocal

Permanent performer of the band: Balázs SZOKOLAY Dongó: bagpipe, saxophone, flutes, harmonica

The repertoire of the band is fulfilled with authentic, and treated folk-music pieces next to each other. The individual tone of these writings takes a special colour to any kind of stages. Beside the folk-music of the Hungarians, the band often plays the music of minorities, the process of Romanian, Slovakian and Serbian songs.

These musicians sound the special instruments of Hungary and its neighbour countries, like the cimbalom, the funnel-shaped violin, the bagpipe, the flute, the fulyara, the hurdy-gurdy, thetambur and the gardon.

The ensemble mainly performed on the stages of Germany, Switzerland and Italy in 1999. It has succesfully participated on many festivals, like: "ISOLA FOLK" - Bergamo, Tre Giorni - Acquarossa, Intragna Fest. All above this, the LUDAS has played music in smallers festivals and dance houses. It has accompanies dance ensembles, made choreography music, records and also the first MC of the band titled LUDAS I.



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Gábor BENE
I was born on the 11th of November, 1965 in Gyoma. Unfortunately, I lost my father when I was three years old, but bless God my mother had much power to raise her two sons up.

I started to know the instruments when I was eight years old. I have played the piano for five years, and at the same time I played the guitar with the youth of those times by an autodidact way. We dreamt about to dedicate our lives to the music, but the secondary-school ruined our plans. Later, when I was seventeen, I felt a stronger prompt to play music with others. I started to join the rehersals of of the dance ensemble of Gyoma, as an enthusiastic auditor.

The final result was a new folk-music band, which in I played the viola, and the double-bass. Unfortunately, we had got together only for a short time, then I decided to turn to the classical music, again. I went to school to be engaged to the violin for four years. After I graduated from the school the old friends came together to give one more chance to us. It was quite difficult beside the work-place and the family.

Finally in the autumn of 1998 I decided to concentrate my whole life to music. That's how I became a founding member of the LUDAS Ensemble.

"I think I'm at home and dry."



I was born in 1971 in Békés town. I have played the violin since I was six years old, but I had some connection with music earlier, too. According to the familiar oral tradition I played through a wedding-party with a gypsy band when I was four. Of course, I only had a tin violin, yet . I had learnt classical music until I was eighteen. During that time I started to work with folk-music. I joined the "Békés Banda" Folk Ensemble. First, as an "accompanying" than as a permanent member of the band. Beside the violin, I occasionally play the double-bass and also string and percussion instruments. Since my graduation in 1993, I only deal with music, that's my profession.

I have played music with the LUDAS Ensemble since 1998, but I sometimes play in other formations, too. I have played from Elek to Tokio in many places, accompanied some record, - radio - and TV shows, and also next to folk-dance ensembles. I have made choreography music, performed in theatrical performances, like on the world premiere of András SüTő's: Barking bird, but I had a possibility to participate and be a member of a tale. Occasionally I'm invited to a bit further, into rock,- and pop productions. Since the beginning of 1999 I've appeared in a theater show of Olli Hauenstein in Switzerland. The title of the performance is: Hauenstein & Band.

I also work as an editor. My musical editions appear under the name: Geiger. My aims are supported by cultural houses, companies, self-governments and also by for example Magyar Millennium Emlékbizottsága.


13th Hungarian Dance-House Meeting CD. MC. 1994.

Békés Banda: PUZZLE MC. 1997. Geiger

Békés Banda: Huszárverbunk CD. MC. 1998. Geiger

Poppá: Itt az új év! CD. 1998.

Ludas: LUDAS I. MC. 1999.Lud. Egy.

Szokolay: Tunes from the last century MC. 1999.

Matthis: Angyali üdvözlet CD. MC. Bál-Na



Gyula RÁCZ
I was born in the spring of 1970 in Sarkad. It wasn't too difficult to get known the instrument in a family like mine, so I met the living music when I was one day old.

My parents didn't force me to learn the music, so according to this I started when I was in the fifth class in the primary-school. The first instrument - one of the most popular one of village music - was the zither. At the beginning of the 80's the avalanche started. Guitar, than string instruments came. In 1984 I was learning agricultural engineering, but I also started to work in a band.

As an accompanying band beside the folk-ensembles of Békés, Borsod and Szabolcs counties, we have been to all around Europe. It has always been a great pleause to play with old publicators. Most of our national work was made between 1986 - 1998 with the "Téglás" and the "Békés Banda" bands.

After a number of theatrical works, audio records and brochures we founded the LUDAS Ensemble in1998, where I have played since then.


Békés Banda: Huszárverbunk CD. MC. 1998. Geiger

New Living Folk-Music CD. MC. 1999.

Ludas: LUDAS I. MC. 1999.Lud. Egy.

Szokolay: Tunes from the last century MC. 1999.



Balázs SZOKOLAY Dongó
I spent my childhood on the South - Eastern part of Hungary in Tótkomlós. I graduated after my agricultural and drawing pedagogy class and started to play music. First I had played blues and folk-music, than the harmonica, the bagpipe, the flute, and the saxophone.

My musical knowledge can not be connected to any schools I learnt everything as a self - taught person. I became the owner of "Young Master of Folk Art" rank in 1994. I did and do play in different bands: Kündü, Hungarian Bagpipe Band, Békés Banda, Vasmalom, Vízöntő, Kampec Dolores, Dél-alföldi Szaxofonegyüttes and the Dongó and Friends which were founded by me and some of my colleagues, and since the autumn of 1998, the LUDAS Ensemble. I have participated on the last Vujicsics record - I played the Croatian Bagpipe. I gave lectures and some concerts on the "Academy of Music and Drama" - Folk-music class in Lasgow.

My music feeds from the folk-music of the Carpathian basin. I usually accompany the Hungarian and minority folk-dance ensembles, like: Balassi Dance Ensemble from Békéscsaba and the Romanian Tradition-saving Dance Ensemble from Elekről, Tessedik Slovakian Folk-dance Ensemble from Szarvas, "Csaba" Minority Folk-dance Ensemble from Békéscsaba and also the Romanian Tradition-saving Dance Ensemble from Méhkerék.


10th Hungarian Dance-House Meeting LP. MC. 1991.

Fábri-Kanalas: Until I walk belong the river MC. 1994.

Budapest Folk '93 CD. MC. Etnofon 1994.

13th Hungarian Dance-House Meeting CD. MC. 1994.

Vasmalom II. CD. MC. P.1992.C.1995. Music &Words

Vasmalom III. CD. MC. 1996. Vasmalom

XV. Magyarországi Táncháztalálkozó CD. MC. 1996.

Békés Banda: PUZZLE MC. Geiger 1997.

Dél-alföldi Szaxofonegyüttes: Esthajnal CD. 1997.

Sebő Ferenc: Szerenád CD. 1996.

Békés Banda: Huszárverbunk CD. MC. Geiger 1998.

Ludas: LUDAS I. MC. 1999. Lud. Egy.

Dél-alföldi Szaxofonegyüttes: Kalamona CD. 1999.

Szokolay: Tunes from the last century MC. 1999.

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