IKFA Award Presentation 2023


Committee: Mary Place – Chairman (UK), Helga Dietrich (Hun), Gail Godfrey (Aus),
Betsy McLaughlin-Moll (USA), Mary Stouffer (CAN)
Under the auspices of the International Kodály Society



The 6th Presentation of the International Katalin Forrai Award took place on August 4th 2023, during the International Kodály Society Symposium in Los Angeles.

Since the establishment of the award in 2011, it has been presented biennially, and there have been seven recipients. Previous recipients have been from Japan, France, America, Hungary, Canada, Australia, and Finland, thus fulfilling the aim of the award, which is to celebrate the contribution that Katalin Forrai made to Early Childhood Music Education in Hungary and throughout the world.

At the occasion of the 6th Presentation, the Award was presented to two highly deserving recipients, Judith Johnson from Australia, and Dominika Lenska from Poland.

Judy first met Katalin Forrai in 1974 and has held a vital role in developing Kodály Education in Australia. Her work at Clayfield School and at the University of Queensland amongst others, and her work in Early Childhood Education has been an inspiration for many teachers, making a valuable contribution to disseminating the wonderful work of Katalin Forrai both throughout Australia and internationally. This has been a tremendous help in continuing Kati’s legacy.

The Award was Presented to Judy by Gilbert De Greeve.

Dominika works at the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. The knowledge that Dominika gained at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét whilst studying there from 1997 to 1998 and her fascination with the work of Katalin Forrai inspired her to develop her own programme of musical activities called ‘Preschooler Academy’ for young children between the ages of one and a half and six years old, and it refers to the traditions of Polish musical folklore. Her classes teach peace, bring people together, and function in a therapeutic way. Dominika has familiarised Polish Music teachers with the work of Katalin Forrai through her teaching, through articles, and also through speeches at Conferences.

The Award was presented to Dominika by the President of the IKS, Jerry L. Jaccard.

As is the tradition, the Presentation then concluded with music played by Gilbert De Greeve. On this occasion Gilbert played two pieces from Zoltán Kodály’s Seven Pieces Opus 11, no.1 [Lento] and no.2 [Székely Lament].

Mary Place

(Photos by Msichalis Patseas)