About Magnólia Zenekar
DONALD STEVENS, VIOLIN
Donald has played Hungarian folk music for nearly 30 years. He began his studies as a child, learning double bass and violin at Hungarian camps in California and Washington State. He also lived in Budapest, Hungary from 2012-2013, and has attended workshops led by village musicians in Transylvania, Romania.
VALERIE MATTHEWS, VIOLA
Val began her musical life as a classical cellist, then came to know and love Hungarian music and folk dance through the influence of her husband, who is half Hungarian. She plays kontra (the three-stringed, flat-bridged viola of Transylvania) and four-stringed viola, and she also plays koboz (folk lute) with Szikra. She is still an active chamber musician on cello.
BÉLA SZEMÉLY, BASS
Béla grew up in Transylvania, Romania and was exposed at an early age to the traditional Hungarian folk music of the Kis-Küküllő region where his family originates from. He dances in the Washington, DC-based Tisza Ensemble and plays the three-stringed upright bass.