Miklós Turjányi, organiser of the Zemplén Festival, has received the 2019 Takács András Memorial Award. On 27th May, the presentation of the award was followed by a speech by the awardee and a panel discussion on heritage conservation in Tokaj.
First held in 1992, the Zemplén Festival offers some ten days of classical, jazz and choral concerts, dance performances and dinners with music every August at some of the most beautiful venues of Zemplén County, the southern part of which comprise the Tokaj Wine Region. The majority of the festival events actually take place within the wine region, many being held at wineries.
András Takács was a Tokaj advocate who devoted some five years of his life working for and protecting the interests of Tokaj's winemaking community and World Heritage values. To honour his memory, BOR-VIDÉK, the winemakers' association he took part in setting up, established an award in 2014 that recognises exemplary efforts in preserving and promoting World Heritage values in the Tokaj Wine Region. András Takács had been entrusted with advocacy for Tokaj by a group of leading wineries being at the forefront of a region-wide protest against a projected straw-firing power plant in the town of Szerencs back in 2006. He was instrumental in laying the foundations for a regional development plan that reconcile the region's World Heritage status with the need for economic development. He worked full time planning, networking and lobbying towards this goal until his tragic death in the summer of 2012.