Hungary may be a small country in the heart of Central Europe, but a lot of talented people come from here. There are a lot of talented Hungarian sportspeople, for instance, proven by the fact that Hungary has won more Olympic medals than any other nation that has never got the chance to be a host to the Games. However, talent comes in many shapes and forms, and Hungarians are quite influential when it comes to culture, too, both on a national and an international level. Here is a list of people who succeeded in affecting culture abroad.
Gábor Presser is a true legend in Central Europe, but he has quite a few achievements that gained him attention in the international limelight. In 1974, he and his band, Locomotive GT, performed at the Ozark Music Festival, one of the biggest hippie celebrations, reports Forbes. His hit song, “Gyöngyhajú lány” (Girl with pearly hair), got reworked by the German band ‘Scorpions’ under the title “White Dove,” which conquered the entire world.
Now, his musical entitled “A padlás” (The Attic) is on the way of being a Broadway show. Presser himself was present at a table read in New York recently. The musical was first performed in 1988 and has been a massive hit in Hungary ever since. It tells the story of a break-in, young love, and four lost souls who desperately want to move on to the afterlife. It is charming yet touching, interspersed with beautiful songs. We cannot wait to hear the international audience’s reaction.
Emma Orczy had a fascinating life. Even though she spent most of her life in Britain and wrote her novels in English, her Hungarian heritage was essential for her and influenced her greatly. The title of her first book – Old Hungarian Fairy Tales – illustrates this well. However, the real success came when she published her book entitled The Scarlet Pimpernel. It was soon turned into a theatre production, and later, a movie as well.
The story involving love, disguise, mystery, and danger soon became an international success, and it is still popular today. In addition, the characters played an important role when Johnston McCully created his character that is now familiar to everyone: Zorro.
To learn more about Baroness Orczy, click here.
Miklós Rózsa was a Hungarian-American composer. Rózsa became successful in Europe early on. However, it was The Thief of Bagdad in 1940 that really opened doors for him. Production was moved to America because of the Second World War, and Rózsa gained American citizenship in 1946. His score for the film got him his first of seventeen Oscar nominations. Rózsa worked with Hitchcock, too, on the film Spellbound, which earned him his very first Oscar (even though Hitchcock was not a fan himself, saying his music “got in the way of his direction”).
His second Oscar win came for scoring the music to the film noir The Killers, while he received his third and final Oscar for the music of the 1959 Ben-Hur, including the music of the 9-minute-long chariot race that was the longest ever composition for a film and had lasting effects on cinema.
Leslie Howard was a stage and film actor, director, and producer, born to a British mother and a Hungarian-Jewish father in 1893. In the 1920s, he was starring in Broadway shows, with Her Cardboard Lover (1927) and Berkley Square (1929) bringing him undisputed success and launching his Hollywood career.
He starred in films such as Romeo and Juliet and Pygmalion, and he also played lead roles in Gone With the Wind as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel, tying him to the above mentioned Emma Orczy.
Source: Daily News Hungary