Romany band's concert marks Slovak election as UNSC member

New York, 21. 11. 2005, 12:19, (CTK)

The concert of Slovak Romany musicians marking the recent election of Slovakia as United Nations Security Council member, has received unseen ovations in New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall late on Sunday. The Romany cymbalom orchestra of the Anyalai brothers surprised the audience by its untraditional but musically perfect performance of classical compositions by Joseph Haydn and Johannes Brahms, and by a series of passionate Romany folk songs. The concert also starred several soloists, including 13-year- old violinist Patrik Zigmund. "For a long time now I haven't heard 600 people applaud in a way they applauded this evening," Magdalena Vasaryova, state secretary at the Slovak Foreign Ministry, told CTK after the concert.

She said that the opinion prevails in the world that all Romanies in Slovakia live in Romany settlements on the outskirts of towns and villages.

"Of course, about ten percent of our Romanies live in settlements, but this is all. We would like [Slovak Romanies] to win the world's attention, as they are extraordinarily talented musicians who deserve scholarships and a little bit more concern," Vasaryova said.

The concert was also held to show that the idea of Romanies being discriminated against Romanies in Slovakia is nothing but a prejudice, she added.

Slovakia will be U.N. Security Council's elected member in 2006-2007.