Please find below the list of our events in backward chronological order, listing the newest first.
Grandhouse lunch in the beautifully renovated Matild Hotel. Our speaker being Mr Dale András Martin, recently retired CEO of the Siemens Group in Hungary and presently President of EELISA, a consortium of 9 technical universities in seven European countries. The title of his presentation is: ‘Industry & Universities: what one can learn from a good example’.
Grandhouse Cocktail Party in the Károlyi Castle in Fót, by the courtesy of Count and Countess László Károlyi and the Károlyi Foundation. Mr Benedek Varga, former Director General of the Hungarian National Museum and since two months Director of the HNM Semmelweis Museum of the History of Medicine, will give a presentation on the replacement of French castle gardens by English style gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries.
We celebrate our first in-person event after the corona lock downs with a cocktail reception at the Hilton Budapest in their historical lounge and the ruins of the Dominican cloister. Mr Pál Kovács will give a short presentation about the history of the location. Cantor and chorister, Mr Barnabás Hegyi, will sing Gregorian chants.
Our speaker for this month is Dr Zoltán Pogátsa, a leading Hungarian economist, known for his unconventional economic policies, irrespective of political dogmas and for his courage to state and explain his theories. The title of his presentation: „Best possible economic policies for Hungary, presented by an independent, unconventional economist.”
The speaker for this month Online Meeting is: Mr János Mező, the Managing Director of Greenpeace Hungary. The title of his presentation is: „Crises as opportunities: how to survive the 21th century?!”.
An online „Grandhouse Children’s Choral Festival” event with four different children’s choirs from different continents:
Hungarian Radio Childrens’ Choir Hungary
Star Light Choir China
African Children’s Choir Uganda
Children’s Choir of Toluca Mexico
The two presenters of the children choirs are:
- Mr Chris Daniels, retired symphony orchestra manager.
- Mr Soma Dinyés, music teacher and conductor of various orchestras.
We are planning to make this a yearly event with a growing number of children’s choirs taking part in real-life and online. The first event on May 21 with four choirs from different continents will be our pilot online project with dreams for annual large international musical events in the future.
The idea for this event is based on a wish to see Grandhouse make a contribution to a better world. We much depend on future generations to keep our planet alive and ourselves healthy. If we could bring children from many countries together in a musical manner, it may foster solidarity, harmony and understanding between them.
„Tokaj Team Tasting” online events worldwide with wine-connoisseur, Mr Gergely Somogyi - https://expertise.tokajtoday.com/ , introducing the participants to the famous Hungarian Tokaj wine, „the King of Wines and the Wine of Kings”.
For this wine tasting following wines are offered:
In Hungary: Degenfeld Furmint-2019; Degenfeld Hárslevelű-2020; Degenfeld Muskat Blanc-2020 and Degenfeld Szamorodni-2017.
In Holland: Degenfeld Furmint dry - 2017; Degenfeld Hárslevelű - 2019; Degenfeld Muskat Blanc - 2019 and Degenfeld Szamarodni Édes - 2017. Dutch importer: www.tokajwijn.nl
In America: Kvaszinger Estate Furmint 2016; Erzsébet Zafír Furmint-Hárslevelű 2018; Erzsébet “Luné” Muscat Blanc 2019; Erzsébet Szamorodni 2016
A joint online event with DACOR in Washington DC and with two speakers: Ambassador Géza Jeszenszky from Grandhouse and Ambassador Ray Ewing from DACOR with Dr André Goodfriend as moderator. The subject of their presentations: a renewal of the Atlantic Relations. The title of the event is: “The U.S. and Europe: „The View from the Danube and Potomac”.
The speaker for our second Online Meeting this year will be: Dr Haroon Sheikh. The title of his presentation is: ‘Global affairs – outlook for 2021’. Introduction and moderator for Q. and A. session afterwards by the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Hungary, Mr René van Hell.
The speaker of our first Online Meeting in 2021 will be: Dr Tamás Borsics. The title of his presentation is: "COVID-19 vaccines: How they protect our body and challenge our minds".
The speaker for our seventh and last Video Presentation of the year will be: József Péter Martin, the Executive Director of Transparency International Hungary. The title of his presentation is: „Greasing or sanding the wheels?” The impact of corruption to the Hungarian economy and society in comparative perspective.
The subsequent Zoom Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 17 for discussing the questions raised in relation to the video presentation.
The sixth video presentation is being prepared by our former member, retired Ambassador Gajus Scheltema, with the subject: „The vision from a recently retired diplomat about the near future in America, the European Union and Hungary”.
A follow-up meeting through a Zoom platform on December 10 for discussing the questions raised in relation to the video presentation.
We have the pleasure to welcome our guest-speaker: Dr József Martin, Executive Director of Transparency International Hungary. The title of his presentation will be: „Greasing or sanding the wheels?” The impact of corruption to the Hungarian economy and society in comparativ perspective. The lunch will be held in the Ball Room of the Duna Palota. All possible precautionary "corona-proof" measures will be taken.
UNFORTUNATELY CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
We have the pleasure to welcome our guest-speaker: Mr Nick Thorpe, a British journalist and documentary filmmaker who is the Central Europe Correspondent for BBC News. The title of his presentation will be: „The Ground Floor: migrants and refugees 2015 – 2020”. The lunch will be held in the Ball Room of the Duna Palota. All possible precautionary "corona-proof" measures will be taken.
First actual lunch with all possible precautionary "corona-proof" measures in Duna Palota, followed by the Annual General Meeting.
A Cocktail Party and Lectures will be held in the Károlyi Castle in Fót, by the courtesy of Count and Countess László Károlyi and the Károlyi Foundation. We will have two speakers:
- Professor Dr József Sisa, Scientific Advisor at the Institute of Art History, Research Centre for the Humanities, will focus on the country houses of the Károlyi family.
- Mr Benedek Varga, Director General of the Hungarian National Museum, will concentrate on the replacement of French castle gardens by English style gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries.
UNFORTUNATELY CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
The fifth Grandhouse online meeting will focus on Hungarians living abroad, starting with the about 50.000 Hungarians based in Holland. Live interviews with several Hungarians will be made in Holland to discuss the three main questions:
- why did they leave Hungary and selected the Netherlands to make a living?
- are they happy in the Netherlands? Were expectations fulfilled? What are the pros and what the contras?
- any possibility to permanently return to Hungary and make use of their newly acquired knowledge, experiences and contacts?
The fourth Grandhouse online meeting was held with Mrs Klára Dobrev, one of the Vice- Presidents of the European Parliament (and wife of former Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány). The subject of her presentation and of our Q & A afterwards will be: “Future of Europe”.
Our third Grandhouse online meeting with Mr Marc Dillard, Chargé d'Affaires at the American Embassy. Subject will be: “Personal reflections on the pandemic’s effect on society and the economy”.
Our second Grandhouse online meeting with three speakers:
- our member, Ambassador René van Hell, with the subject: „Personal views on possible social and economic changes in the Netherlands when the corona virus is behind us”.
- our member, Jan Zweegman and our guest, Dr Tamás Borsics, biologist and researcher will highlight some interesting aspects of the corona virus.
We had our first Grandhouse online meeting with following guest-speakers:
- our member, Dr Zsolt Kálbori with the subject: „The importance of staying active in this corona period to stimulate the body, its chemicals and the immune system”.
- our guest, Dr György Harmat, retired medical doctor and former Director of the Heim Pál Children Hospital. Subject of his presentation: „present corona situation in Hungary”.
We have the pleasure to welcome our guest-speaker: Mr Dale András Martin, CEO of Siemens Hungary. UNFORTUNATELY CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
We have the pleasure to welcome our guest-speaker: Dr József Martin, Executive Director of Transparency International Hungary. The title of his presentation will be: „Greasing or sanding the wheels?” The impact of corruption to the economy and society. The lunch will be held in the Gundel Restaurant, Queen Elisabeth Ballroom. UNFORTUNATELY CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
Grandhouse members and their guests are invited by the Mexican Ambassador, Mr. David Nájera Rivas, for a concert of the Budapest Concerto Symphony Orchestra, followed by a Mexican reception/cocktails at the residence of the ambassador at 6.00 pm. UNFORTUNATELY CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA VIRUS.
We have the pleasure to welcome our guest-speaker: Mr. Zsolt Zólyomi, the expert perfumer of Hungary. The title of his presentation will be: "The human sense of smell is far more powerful than generally believed". The lunch will be held in the Gundel Restaurant, Queen Elisabeth Ballroom.
We have the pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker: H.E. Madame Liubov Nepop, ambassador of Ukraine.
The title of her presentation will be: "From a Ukrainian point of view". The presentation will be held in the Ukrán Udvar Étterem, the only Ukrainian restaurant in Budapest.
We have the pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker Mr Ferenc András Kalmár, Ministerial Commissioner Responsible for the Development of the Neighbourhood Policy of Hungary. The subject of his presentation is: „National minorities in Europe. The Hungarian approach”.
We have the pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Géza Jeszenszky. The subject of his presentation is: „Hungary’s Lost Friends and Lost Peace Treaties”.
We have the pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker the new Minister of Justice, Dr Judit Varga. The subject of the presentation is: “Rule of Law mechanism and proposals in the EU. How to keep the eye on the ball?”
An evening dinner in the Gundel with a concert afterwards (Gershwin songs).
We will have the pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker Dr Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and responsible for Hungarian Diplomatic Academy and the Stipendium Hungaricum Program. The subject of the presentation is: „Hungary Helps - a special scholarship program : Stipendium Hungaricum”.
We will have the pleasure to welcome as guest-speaker Mr David Kostelancik, Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States. The title of his presentation is: „Assessments of the Present American-Hungarian Relationship”.
We will have the pleasure to welcome as guest-speaker H.E. Ms. Kuni Sato, Ambassador of Japan. The title of her presentation is: „A Japanese Samurai meets Kossúth Lajos: 150 years of Japan-Hungary Relations”.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker from Holland, dr Maarten Aalders, who will interupt his holidays in Hungary for a causerie at our Grandhouse lunch. Dr Aalders is a historian with a focus on the history of the church in the Netherlands.
The title of his presentation is: „Children trains from Hungary to Holland after first world war”. A story of Dutch hospitality to help about 28.000 Hungarian children. Much of this beautiful support in tragic circumstances has been forgotten and therefore a booklet has been written (in Dutch and Hungarian language) with dr. Aalders en dr. O. Réthelyi as writers, editors and compilers of the many stories from descendents of these children. A fascinating recount of humans helping each other.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker from Holland, Mr Hans Luyckx, who is visiting Budapest for this very purpose only. Mr Luyckx is board member of IJsfontein, Europe's leading serious gaming company, committee member of Dutch Game Association (DGA) and Dutch Creative Industries (FCI).
The title of his presentation is: „The cultural origins of Dutch design and creativity”.
March 23 – for a good physical exercise, new knowledge and camaraderie
"Art Nouveau Walk” on Saturday, March 23 at 10.00 am
Grandhouse International Club has organized a three hours walk with a guide to admire some „Art Nouveau buildings” in Budapest. We start at 10.00 am from the Hungarian Institute of Geology at Stefánia út 14, 1143 Budapest.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Dr Róbert Pintér, PhD in sociology, Head of Consumer Research at eNET Internet Research & Consulting Ltd. and assistant professor of Department of Information and Communication at the Corvinus University of Budapest.
The title of his presentation is: „Will robots take our jobs? Possible drastic social and economic consequences of artificial intelligence”.
Finals of the Grandhouse Chess Tournament in D8 Hotel. Peter Biczó and Paul Grocott agreed to a draw and became the Grandhouse co-grandmasters. Douglas Daniel in third place and Zsolt Bárczy in fourth.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Dr Attila Ősi, Head of Department of Paleontology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.
This time, we will have a very different topic to our previous ones. Dinosaurs.
The title of Dr Ősi's presentation is: „Discovery of Dinosaurs in Hungary”.
His Excellency, Mr Juraj Chmiel, Ambassador of the Czech Republic has invited members of Grandhouse and their guests for a „Friendship Celebration” between Grandhouse and the Embassy on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 4.00 pm at the Czech Embassy.
Program for the event as follows:
4.00 pm: concert in the theater of the Embassy with the Czech musicians Jan Vojtek, piano and Zuzana Kohoutova, opera singer.
4.30 pm: Ambassador Chmiel will guide us on a brief tour through the Embassy to show us some very interesting historic items.
5.00 pm: Drinks (Czech beer and wine) with some tidbits in the main salon of the Embassy.
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm: in small groups escorted to basement for visit to the new „Emanuel Zíma exhibition”, where Mr Milan Simko, Head of the Consular Department, will tell us the relevant details.
6.00 pm: End of the celebration, but otherwise continuation of the „Embassy Friendship”.
Different day, different venue. It was time for some changes:
Our next Grandhouse lunch will be held on Thursday, 13th December.
Not only day is different from the usual Wednesday but also venue as the last lunch of the year will be held in the Four Seasons Hotel.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, H.E. Mr Juraj Schmiel, Ambassador of the Czech Republic. The title of his presentation is: „V4 – pain in the neck or an important voice within EU?”
2018 is ending soon... On our second last Grandhouse lunch in 2018 we will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Mr Balázs Lévai, Co-founder and CEO of Engame Academy. The title of his presentation is: "The brightest students are leaving the country, but will they ever come back?".
Our speaker will be H.E. Madame Elisabeth Ellison-Kramer, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Hungary.
The title of her presentation is: „Priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU”.
On 19th September we will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Dr Martin Kahanec, Professor and Head of the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest.
The title of his presentation is: ''In search of a sustainable migration policy framework: taming or harnessing a lion”?
For this lunch, we - again - apply a different format.
We will have table discussions on the following topic:
„Hate speech. Should this phenomenon, which is worldwide more and more appearing, be banned or accepted under freedom of speech? And if accepted, what are the limits, if any?”
The discussion will be facilitated by Peter Molnár who is inventor and director of the “Hate Speech” Monologues at the Central European University where he was one of the founding researchers of the Center for Media and Communication Studies in 2004.
Our wish is that members and guests will get to know better one another through these thought-provoking discussions
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Mr Michael O’Sullivan, journalist, writer and art collector.
The title of his presentation is: ''The Last Years of pre-communist Hungary : Patrick Leigh Fermor's journey through Budapest, the Bannat and Transylvania''.
For more information about himself and his latest book, see: http://www.danubeinstitute.hu/article/patrick_leigh_fermor_noble_encounters_between_budapest_and_transylvania
Did you miss Mr. O'Sullivan's presentation or you wish to see it again? Please click HERE for the slideshow.
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Dr. Zsolt Kálbori, Chiropractor and President of the Hungarian Chiropractors’ Association.
The title of his presentation is: „Bad posture - from evolution to devolution. Could chiropractic offer a solution?
In case you missed the June Grandhouse seminar, please click HERE to listen to the full presentation or Dr. Kálbori's.
„The Impact of Strategic Thinking on Diplomacy – Case study”.
This time we will have the priviledge to welcome His Excellency Mr. Péter Szabadhegy, former Ambassador of Hungary accredited to the Court of St James (UK).
We will have the privilege to hold the lunch in the garden of the Danube Commission at Benczúr utca 25. This time not us welcoming the speaker, but the speaker - Mr Petar Margic, the Director General of the Danube Commission - to welcome us. Mr Margic will give a presentation with the title: „Historical facts of the activities of the Danube Commission”.
For background information about the Danube Commission, please see the link: http://www.danubecommission.org/dc/en/danube-commission/
Great venue, amazing young artists, wonderful people, this is the only way to summarize the Grandhouse New Year’s Concert in the Bartók Béla Memorial House, on 13th January 2018.
The attendees had the opportunity to welcome the new year with the following impressive musical program:
Alekander Simic (violoncello)
(piano accompaniment: Csabáné Németh)
- J.S.Bach: Suite for Violoncello in G major BWV 1007 - Preludium, Gigue
- Edward Elgar: Salut d'amour
-David Popper: Tarantella Op. 33
Zsuzsanna Csabay – flute
(piano accompaniment: Stephany Karmen Boateng)
- Mozart: Concert for flute in D major I. movement
- J.S.Bach: Polonaise, Doubled, Menuet, Badinerie from the b minor Suite for Orchestra
- Ian Clarke: Hypnosis
Zsolt Megyes – piano
- Liszt: First Legend in E major “St. Francis of Paola walking upon the waves”
- Liszt: Paraphrase on Verdis’ Rigoletto
We are pleased to inform you that our next lunch's guest speaker will be Professor Dr Tuan Trinh, Associate Professor, Corvinus University of Budapest.
The title of his presentation is: „Bitcoins, crypto currencies and blockchains – an introduction for beginners”.
Professor Dr István Pásztori-Kupán, Professor for Systematic Theology, will be asking us all an important question: „Is there anything Christian about Christmas?”
Table discussions on the following topic: „How do we, as intelligent citizens, keep informed about events in our country and the world in an era where the media is less trusted and there is the belief that news is "fake." Do you think there is such a thing as "fake news?" If so, how do we combat it? What can we as citizens do to promote a more responsible media and a truthful coverage of the facts?” Followed by a presentation "Media freedom - why is it important for countering corruption?" by Mr. József Péter Martin (https://transparency.hu/en/)
The speaker on our next lunch will be Veronika Wynne-Hughes, a young woman who gave up her job as a psychologist to go and sail the world.
She will be sharing with us her interesting and exciting stories, her future plans as well as the psychology behind dreaming big, stepping out of comfort zones, questioning fears and challenging the impossible.
Please click on the below link to see the video of Veronika's presentation at Akadémia Klub:
„Lessons from the 20th Century: Can We Build a Better World?” A presentation by Mr. Sharif István Horthy.
A test-concept of our lunches willl be introduced.
Following topics will be discussed with each of the five tables a different one:
1) Do you agree with the concept of "global citizenship"? What does it mean to you?
2) What does good leadership look like? How do you develop it in yourself or in others?
3) How have values changed as a result of social media? Or have they? What are the benefits and challenges of a more interconnected world?
4) How did the previous generation invest in us and how are we investing in the next generation?
5) How do you define wellness and how do you tend to wellness in your busy life? Do you have strategies for managing stress or wish you did?
We will have the pleasure to welcome our speaker, Dr. Csaba Vadász, Conservation Ranger at the Kiskunság National Park and a specialist in ornithology. The title of his presentation: Great Bustards and "Little Things that run the world" - sustainable land use and nature conservation
„Brexit after the elections” - a great speech given by Mr. John O’Sullivan, President of the Danube Institute
„We dream. We do” -
our speaker is Veronika Pistyur, CEO of Bridge Budapest
Excursion - Visits to Herend and Pannonhalma
Invitation by the Slovakian Ambassador, Dr Rastislav Kácer, at his residence
"The short past, present situation and the future of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts "-
our speaker is Dr Judit Csanádi, Rector of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts
Grandhouse Gala in the Four Seasons Hotel - "Predicting the unpredictable: the Brexit and Trump effect upon Europe” - our speaker is Professor Dr János Martonyi, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs
"Why do thrive Hungarian intellectuals while living abroad? Hungarian literature may explain" -
our speaker is Dr István Monok
Club-lunches in 2016 will be held in the Academy Club at Széchenyi tér, in principle on the third Wednesday of each month, i.e.
Christmas Concert and Dinner in Hubay Jenõ Salons, Victoria Hotel.
Billiards competition for "Sportsperson of the Year".
Professor Attila Chikán: "Employment and Emigration Problems in Hungary".
Tennis competition for "Sportsperson of the Year".
22OctDr Zoltán Bodnár, former Deputy Governor of Central Bank and Associate Professor at ELTE.
Ambassador of Palestine: "Israel and Palestine - solution within few days".
Tennis Tournament and lunch for Grandhouse and Corps Diplomatique - social event.
Ambassador of Croatia, Mr Gordan Grlic Radman: "Visegrad Four + Croatia + ??? within the EU?".
Five dimensional show of RayMirage in Fészek Artists' Club.
Ambassador of the Netherlands, Mr Gajus Scheltema: "Life after Brexit". Venue: residence of Ambassador.
Dr Edit Inotai: "Hungarian Foreign Policy Towards Europe and the US - two turbulant relations".
Professor Péter Ákos Bod: "Hungarians working abroad......any chance to see them back?". - CV
Professor József Sisa about "History of the MTA Building"
Lunch at "Caprice" with diamond exhibition in words, video and in jewelry showcases
Grand Gala in the Intercontinental Hotel, organized for the Smiling Hospital Foundation
Ms Lourdes Pérez, Senior Advisor in Humanitarian Diplomacy for the Red Cross (CV in English)
Club-lunches in the Academy Club at Széchenyi tér in 2015
9NovStart of Chess Tournament for members (until end of January)
Ms Montserrat Feixas Vihe, Head of Representation of UNHCR
Squash Tournament for members
Ms Judit Hegedűs and Ms Zsuzsanna Zsohár, both representing Migration Aid
Table-tennis tournament for members and diplomatic corps and their families
Boat-trip with lunch and three volunteers from Migrants Aid as speakers
Professor Dr Árpád Kovács, Chairman of the Fiscal Council of Hungary (CV in English)
Mrs Jane Goodall, world-renowned primatologist, conservationist, ethologist, and UN Messenger of Peace
Dr Péter Medgyessy, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary
Mr József Péter Martin, Executive Director of Transparency International
Mrs Ágnes Néneth, Chief, Crime Prevention Department at National Police Headquarters
Annual Grand Gala. Speaker: Dr Péter Paczolay, President of the Constitutional Court in Hungary
Professor Tibor Frank, Professor of History at ELTE
Club-lunches in the Academy Club at Széchenyi tér in 2014
Mr Balázs Román, CEO of Budapest Business Journal (BBJ)
Mr André Goodfriend, Chargé d'Affaires at US Embassy
Mr Petar Margic, General Director of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission
No speaker, but "working lunch" for Board and members to discuss future of Grandhouse
Prof. Dr. József Bayer, Rector of the King Sigismund Business School, Budapest
Mr Simon Ingram-Hill, Director British Council, Hungary
Ambassador of Croatia, H.E. Mr Gordan Radman
Ambassador of Macedonia, H.E. Mr Darko Angelov
Gala Dinner at residence of Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Mr Gajus Scheltema
Club-lunches in the Academy Club at Széchenyi tér in 2013
Budapest Strings Chamber Orchestra
Mr. Péter Meckovsky
Mr. Gerard van Berkum and Mr. Ádám Hatvani
Mr. Paul Grocott, Senior Tax-partner with PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Guided tour and concert in the Zoo
H.E. Mr. Kemal Gür, Ambassador of Turkey
Mrs. Noémi Alexa, Managing Director of Transparency International
Presentation by Smiling Hospital Foundation
Mr. Róbert Braun, Partner B & P Consulting
Professor Péter Ákos Bod, Professor at Corvinus University
Mr. György Szabó, CEO of Sanoma Media Budapest