Photo: Vető Gábor
Presser-song was first performed by the small theater company of Verebes. They were 17 and dreamed about having their own theatre. That song was written to a poem by Karinthy, which did not become too famous, unlike its composer.
Few years later Presser showed a few songs on the piano of the Omega group in the Eötvös Club, behind him the curious band, which took in the song writer with the glasses. Between 1968 and ’71 he was the main composer and organist of three classical Omega LP: Trombitás Frédi és a rettenetes emberek, 10000 lépés, Éjszakai országút.
1971 was the birth of the band Locomotiv GT, the first Hungarian supergroup, whose novelistic story is told by several government censored as well as self-censored edition. Quite possibly the most exciting three chapters of the book És ilyen a Boksz? of 1985 could not even be published. Those chapters dealing with the Cuban, Romanian and Soviet tours… Besides the most entertaining/funniest character of the band beyond the approach “everybody is doing it different”, is “the everybody is remembering it different” (See the movie Volt 1×1 zenekar). The things to remember are too many and too many folded and some time has passed since as well. But what is more important than that: their songs have never lost much.
Our composer in the line of (in) (with) (in between) LGT composed songs, albums, series of albums, radio plays, ballets and a small band of lyrics.
The assignment to compose his first “official” play (from the novel Képzelt riport egy amerikai popfesztiválról by Déry Tibor) came from Vígszínház in 1972. Since then he composed several musicals, musical plays, only in Hungary he has “sold” nearly two million theatre tickets. A few titles: Képzelt riport egy amerikai popfesztiválról (1973), Harmincéves vagyok (1975), Jó estét nyár, jó estét szerelem (1977), A sanda bohóc (1981), A próba (ballet, Állami Operaház Erkel Színháza, 1982), A padlás (1988), Szent István körút 14. (1998), Túl a Maszat-hegyen (Budapest Bábszínház, 2005), Magyar Carmen (2007) and again Túl a Maszat-hegyen (Pesti Színház, 2010). From 1978 he is the musical director of Vígszínház, where he was the musical screenwriter of many of their plays.
In addition to theater directors, film directors have found him as well, he is the composer of more than thirty Hungarian and international movies.
The Amadinda Percussion Group asked him to compose Drum Street Blues in 1989, which was staged the same year in the Zeneakadémia. Since then they have been making music together often, in the meantime their New Year’s Eve concert became tradition.
Presser was discovered by BMG Ariola in 1992, and just in two years it squeezed out of him the solo CD Csak dalok which has later became platinum selling CD. In 1995 he is giving nine concerts in the overcrowded Vígszínház, after which he does not give a concert until 2001. But then he gives 50 of them. From the “orchestral” concert series Dalok régről és nemrégről a DVD was made as well. In 1996 he recorded the CD Kis történetek, again with famous Hungarian and international artists. It also became platinum seller. In November 2000 the Angyalok és emberek Presser CD was finished which became gold on the day of its publication and later on a platinum seller.
In between to our big surprise LGT happened to release the new 424 – Mozdonyopera, more than that in 2002 an LGT festival was organized with more tens of thousands of people in attendance, and up until the present day the latest LGT album was released with the title A fiúk a kocsmába mentek. In 2007 the band gives another concert again in front of several tens of thousands of people on the Sziget.
In 1998 in the edition of BMG Ariola songs of Gábor Presser are released on the compilation CD, A zeneszerző, which was followed by two more CDs released every second year. On that last CD which was released he is the author for both music and words.
His latest solo CD by BMG/Sony with the title t12enkettő which was released in 2006 contains 12 brand new songs.
In 2004 Presser stages his solo performance Dalok a színházból in Vígszínház Háziszínpad, where he plays songs from the last nearly four decades, he tells stories about theater, artists, directors, writers, and about everything what is theater.
After many-many years in August 2008 finally Gábor Presser’s dream comes true: the Magyar Dal Napja (Day of the Hungarian Song). In front of several ten thousand people on day 0 of Sziget in a more than 7 hours long concert, representatives of different decades and styles of the Hungarian pop music played partly their own songs, partly songs of others. Since then on every second Sunday of September, on increasingly more locations, among them many small towns, give home to musical events, and more and more people can enjoy this initiative building up from bottom.
On January 24, 2009 Gábor Presser gave 1koncert, a solo performance in the sold out Budapest Sportaréna. From this concert a CD had been released with the title: 1 óra az 1 koncert-ből.
In November 2009 he gave a charity concert in the Synagogue of Dohány utca on benefiting the foundation Élet Menete. A DVD has been published from the concert as well.
In 2011 Locovox published Presser Gábor – Parti Nagy Lajos: Rutinglitang (Egy zenemasiniszta) CD/book, which includes 36 (!) newly composed songs of the composer and two adaptations (Pancsoló kislány, Gloomy Sunday).
Our composer wrote songs – sometimes lyrics as well – among others for Katona Klári, Zorán, Demjén Ferenc, Révész Sándor, Kentaur, Malek Andrea, Kaszás Attila, Kulka János, Kern András, Kovács Kati, Király Linda, Oláh Ibolya and Rúzsa Magdi.
His awards are: Erkel Ferenc award (1977), Érdemes Művész (1990), Huszka Jenő award (1996), Artisjus award (1999), Kossuth award (2003), Prima Primissima award (2004), Pro Urbe Budapest award (2009), he is honorary citizen of Budapest XIII. district (2010), Radnóti award (2011).