Katalin Kiss DLA

Position at the Institute: Associate Professor
Subjects taught: Choral Conducting, Solfége, Music Theory

Photo: Gábor Fejér


Received her degree (MA) in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest in 1977, doing so as a recipient of the Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic.  In 2002, she completed her doctorate (DLA) in performing arts with distinction from the same institution. The title of her DLA thesis: The role of choral conductors in the composition, performing and promotion of Kodály’s and Bartók’s choral repertoire

Teaching experience:

1989 – present: Teaching the aforementioned subjects at the Kodály Institute
1983 – 1989: Choir Conductor and solfège/music theory teacher in the Music Secondary School of Kecskemét, Hungary
1977 – 1983: Choir Conductor and solfège/music theory teacher in the Music Secondary School of Szombathely, Hungary

Masterclasses, guest teacher:  

2015 – present: Guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. 
1979-80; 1988-89: Master teacher at the Kodály Center of America (Boston).

She regularly lectures, teaches and gives master classes, workshops at music symposia and seminars in Hungary, Europe, Australia, the USA and China.

Artistic activities: 

- In 2015 she founded the Concert Choir at Central Conservatory of Music.
- In 2005 she founded the Kecskemét Festival Choir 
- In 1990, she founded the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble. The multiple award winning choir has given hundreds of concerts around the world under her direction. She has conducted the premiers of numerous choir pieces and has made 11 CD-s and many radio recordings with the ensemble.
- In addition to Ars Nova, she often conducts foreign choirs and gives concerts in Europe, the USA, Australia and China.  She founded the World Choir of Hungarians that reunited Hungarians from all over the world in music at special national festivals in 1996 and 2000.   

Major competition results:

With Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble she has won many first prizes and special prizes, including five Grand Prix, from international competitions (Ankara, Turkey 1996; Tours, France 1997; Zwickau, Germany 1998; Maribor, Slovenia 1998; Budapest, Hungary 1999; Verona, Italy 2013; Budapest, Hungary 2013).

In 2008, they won the Champion of World Choir Games title in Graz, Austria at the 5th World Choir Games, and in Riga, Latvia in 2014. Also, she was awarded with best conductor honours in different international competitions.

Other activities:

As an author she has published the following textbooks:

"Baroque Music" - musicianship textbook (2019) in Chinese for the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing
"Early Music in Europe" – musicianship textbook (2015), in Chinese for the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing
"A Practical Approach to Harmony" in English (Editio Musica Budapest, 2014)
"The World of Pentatony" – musicianship textbook (2014), in Chinese for the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing

In 1993, she founded the Ars Nova Editio music publishing company, which has become one of the major publishers of contemporary Hungarian choral music.

She often serves on juries for international choir competitions.


- Magistra Chori prize from The Association of Croatian Choral Directors in 2016
- Kodály prize in 2015
- Pro Arte Award from Bács-Kiskun county in 2000
- Katona József Prize from the town of Kecskemét in 1996
- She is a three times Artisjus prize recipient (1997, 1999, 2001) for her high quality performances and dissemination of contemporary music with the Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble.


- Association of Hungarian Choirs (KÓTA)
- Hungarian Kodály Society
- Irish Kodály Society 
- Honorary member of  Seprődi János Choir Association
- Chair of Pro Ars Nova Foundation
- The Hungarian representative in the Council of World Choir Games since 2010.