Krakower Group Client Spotlight: Budapest Scoring

Client Spotlight: Budapest Scoring

Today’s spotlight feature is on Budapest Scoring. Questions answered by Budapest Scoring CEO Bálint Sapszon.

History & background

We have centuries of very rich musical heritage in Budapest. Who wouldn’t know Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly or Miklos Rozsa? Hungarian musicians  grow up playing their music from a very early age. Our music education system is based on the world famous Kodaly method which develops outstanding skills in sight reading, music understanding and musicality. Our session musicians all have these skills. 

In the 1980s, film studios began looking locations outside of the US and UK to record the highest quality film music within their shrinking budgets and turned to Budapest. Becoming the first and one of the best-loved destinations for film scoring sessions, Budapest has hosted Jerry Goldsmith, Michel Legrand, Alan Menken, Ennio Morricone and others who flew to Hungary to record music for movies such as RAMBOA CHRISTMAS CAROL, LIONHEART, EXTREME PREJUDICE, and RENT A COP.

What influences has music had on your family?

My Grandfather was the chief conductor of the Hungarian Radio Choir for over 40 years. My uncle continued the family tradition by forming the Zoltán Kodály Hungarian Choir School. All the five choirs of the school have earned multiple first place prizes at international competitions, including gold medals at the “Olympics of the Choral” contest. I’ve grown up surrounded by music since I was born.

What do you do with your limited free time?

I like to spend time in the nature hiking and camping. California is a great place to do that.

 

How did your organization start? When did you learn this could turn into something great?

In my 20’s I made a living on writing jazz arrangements, performing and doing studio work as a pianist in Budapest. After graduating at the Liszt Academy I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 on a Fulbright scholarship to study film scoring at UCLA Extension. Very soon I realized that recording in LA is a privilege that most composers don’t have due to low music budgets. Combining my film scoring experience with my connection to Central Europe’s finest musicians I decided to form an organization that helps others to record live score for their projects even if they’re on a tight budget.

How long have you been working in this field and what is your greatest accomplishment?

I started “contracting” musicians in high school when I formed my first school band. It was the Bartók Conservatory of Music which hosts some of the most talented music students in Hungary. I still work with many of my former schoolmates who became amazing orchestra musicians. I’m proud of bringing great compositions and orchestrations on my musicians’ table (or music stand) and  – in return – providing my clients with an excellent recording. It’s great to work with some of the biggest networks such as Disney, Lucasfilm, FOX or NBC on projects like Star Wars Rebels. We have clients from all around the world including composers from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, China, Korea, South Africa, Australia, Europe, UK and the US.

Who is your ideal client or partnership and why would they connect with you?

We welcome everybody from big budget productions to film students. Our regular Shared Sessions allow composers to book sessions in half-hour increments which is a great way to record a short piece, a jingle, or a song. For only $699 they can record with a 40-piece orchestra in a state of the are scoring stage.

What is the next step for your organization?

We are trying to reach out to those who haven’t heard of us yet. Remote sessions make it very convenient to record music from anywhere in the world, but I hope composers will also continue attending sessions personally in Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?

I would still play my piano and help my friends with their recording projects.