Hungary sits landlocked between Eastern and Central Europe with Austria to its west and Romania immediately to the east. The country has managed to simultaneously draw on influences from its neighbours while still maintaining a very strong sense of its cultural self.
Hungary is a country of both old and new, a characteristic that is perfectly summed up in two of its most famous composers. Franz Lizst became an internationally recognised and acclaimed composer in the 19th century and is probably best known for his Hungarian Rhapsodies. Bela Bartok may be considered as the other great Hungarian contributor to classical music. His often very experimental compositions may indeed be considered as ahead of their time and they have successfully survived in popularity to this day.
Hungary has been interested and involved in filmmaking almost from the very beginning, maintaining its involvement ever since. Nowadays, directors such as Istvan Szabo, Lajos Koltai and of course Academy Award-nominee Karoly Makk are key exponents of Hungarian film.
In literature, Hungary has made a sound impact as well. Most notably, it is home to Nobel Prize winner and holocaust-survivor Imre Kertesz who is probably best known for his work Fateless. Budapest-born and based writer Peter Esterhazy is another well-known contemporary writer who has won international awards for his work. With names such as Magda Szabo, Ferenc Karinthy and Antal Szerb flying the flag, Hungary can indeed be proud of what it has to offer the world.