Masterclasses for violin, cello, piano and chamber music
Budapest, Hungary - October 23-30, 2022

Virginie Robilliard

Young Laureate of the Long-Thibaud International Violin Competition and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, including special prizes for the best performances of Bach’s Chaconne and Rochberg’s Rhapsody and Prayer. Virginie Robilliard has performed with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Philarmonique de Radio-France, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra among others…

She made her New York debut at the age of 19, in a critically acclaimed performance (The New York Times) of Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski at Avery Fisher Hall. Miss Robilliard’s international career has included appearances in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States, she is regularly invited to give master classes all over the world.

Born from a family of musicians, Virginie Robilliard gave her first public concert at the age of five. She was awarded First Prize by the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon at seventeen, and she graduated from the Juilliard School in 1993, as a student of Dorothy Delay.

Virginie Robilliard is professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne Switzerland since 2015.

Márta Ábrahám

Márta Ábrahám is one of the most versatile violinists of the generation. She is the founder and concertmaster of Early Music Ensemble Ábrahám Consort, baroque music specialist, Bach analyst and professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest.

The focus of her activity is the research and performance of J. S. Bach's works for solo violin. She gives concerts, and lectures, and performs worldwide. Her mission is to bring the unparalleled richness of Bach’s musical language as close as possible to her students and audience. She developed a revolutionary new educational method Colorful BACH method to facilitate the studying and learning of Bach's violin pieces. Her Bach publications (Excerpts from Eternity, Special Complete Editions of Bach’s Fugues for Solo Violin) have earned international recognition.

She studied in the class of renowned international violin professors such as Natasa Sós, Dénes Kovács, Rados Ferenc, Ruggiero Ricci, and David Takeno. She holds honors degrees from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Since 2005, she has been a professor at the Liszt Ferenc University of Music, receiving a doctorate in 2013 and a habilitated degree in 2019. In addition to her soloist, teacher, and Bach analyst activities she regularly participates in the jury of international violin competitions.

As a solo violinist with exceptional talents, her interests range from baroque music to romantic repertoire to new works by contemporary composers. She regularly participates in contemporary chamber music and orchestral productions. The recommendations and premiere of several new compositions of well-known Hungarian contemporary composers are attributed to Márta: Gergely Vajda, Ákos Zarándy, László Király, Barnabás Dukay, József Sári and Sándor Balassa.

In her concert tours, she performed in 24 countries around the world, in almost all countries of Europe, and in concert halls of Japan, China, South Korea, Israel, Georgia, Brazil, USA, Bermuda, and other cities. She regularly performs as a soloist with leading conductors and orchestras. She shared the stage in the company of great musicians such as Yehudi Menuhin, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, Zoltán Kocsis, Tamás Vásáry, Zsolt Hamar, Gergely Vajda, Helmuth Rilling, Oramo Sakari and Ádám Fischer.

Ildikó Szabó

In 2007 world renowned cello virtuoso János Starker attested to the exceptional talent and budding international potential of fellow Hungarian cellist Ildikó Szabó. In the mean time Ildikó Szabó has lived up to this claim. She has won prizes at 16 international competitions based in Europe, including at the International Pablo Casals Cello Competition (Hungary) in 2014 at which she won a total of eight prizes.

“Her technique is impeccable (...) She has proven herself a true artist who utterly enjoys being on stage and manages to perform to the absolute best of her capabilities in front of an audience”, says Iván Fischer who on multiple occasions has engaged Ildikó Szabó for soloist performances with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In addition to the aforementioned ensemble, she has performed alongside the Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Concerto Budapest, the Porto Symphony Orchestra, the Magdeburgische Philharmonie and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.

Ildikó stems from a renowned Hungarian family of great musical tradition: her grandfather Csaba was active as a composer and musicologist; her father, Péter, currently holds the position of Solo Cellist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. From the age of 11, Ildikó studied with László Mező in Budapest and attended master classes with János Starker, before switching to Jens Peter Maintz in Berlin in 2011. Since 2018 she has continued her studies in Weimar under the guidance of Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, who has meanwhile promoted her to the position of teaching assistant: “Her technique is impeccable, her sound is warm and flexible and she feels at home in all musical styles from baroque to contemporary music. Her interpretations are both intelligent and heartfelt.”

Ildikó Szabó’s strong connection to Germany - she currently resides in Berlin - draws on a series of competition successes and grants which include the TONALi Grand Prix Hamburg (2012) as well as scholarships of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (since 2013) and the German Music Competition (2016). Her 2017/18 season encompassed over 30 recitals across Germany, including in the Konzerthaus Berlin - an event to which she was invited by her mentor Alfred Brendel. She has also performed at the Festival in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Rheingau Festival, the Heidelberger Frühling and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Previous international appearances include at the Verbier Festival, the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival Los Angeles, the International Bach Festival in Las Palmas, the Chamber Music Festival Krzyżowa- Music in Kreisau, Poland, and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad.

Szabó has a particular passion for Hungarian and Transylvanian repertoire. To this end she has developed and cultivated personal relationships with György Kurtág and Péter Eötvös. Her discography reflects said affinity: her debut CD, titled “Dance of the Eleves” (2008) and recorded at the age of 14 was succeeded by a recording (2014) of the Double Concerto for Two Cellos Op. 69 by the Hungarian late Romantic composer Emánuel Moór. Her newest album “Heritage” (2020) - which was nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award - features an exploratory journey of her musical roots and includes world premiere recordings of works by György Kurtág and Csaba Szabó, her grandfather, who passed away in 2003. Her advocacy of contemporary repertoire is further highlighted by her involvement in numerous premiere performances, including the Budapest premiere (2019) of the Cello Concerto by Miklós Rózsa. At the CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival 2020 she introduced audiences to the novel compositions of Csenge Mihalicza and Petra Szászi.

Ildikó Szabó has performed in numerous internationally acclaimed concert halls including the Mariinski-Theater St. Petersburg, the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas, the Elbphilharmonie and the Laieszhalle in Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles as well as the Franz-Liszt Musikakademie and the Palace of Arts Budapest. She has performed under the batons of conductors including Iván Fischer, Michael Sanderling, Luciano di Martino and Zsolt Hamar. She has cooperated with virtuosos such as Arnold Steinhardt, Ferenc Rados, Viviane Hagner, Volker Jacobsen, Claudio Bohórquez, Clemens Trautmann and Dénes Várjon on numerous chamber music projects.

Since 2020 Ildikó Szabó has continued her studies at the Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. Her studies there are made possible by the Christa Verhein Foundation. She currently plays an Antonio Sgarbi cello (Rome, 1894) which, since 2013, has been on loan to her by the German Fund for Musical Instruments.

Péter Szabó

Péter Szabó is the principal cellist of the world-famous Budapest Festival Orchestra. He studied at the Music Academy in Cluj, then at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest as a student of László Mező, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág.

Péter Szabó is a prize – winner in several competitions including the National Competition in Romania and the “International Competition Markneukirchen” in Germany. Péter Szabó was awarded with a “Special Prize” from the “International Association of Musicologists” (IMS) in Geneva in 1994. He was awarded the Hungarian Classical Award of the Gramophone Magazine for the “Best Hungarian Classical Music Performer of the Year“. As a member of the World Orchestra for Peace – founded by Sir George Solti, he was awarded the UNESCO Artist for Peace title by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In 2011 Péter Szabó has been awarded the Franz Liszt Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes for artistic accomplishments given by the Hungarian State. He was also awarded with the Lajtha Prize for his outstanding interpretation of László Lajtha’s compositions. As a soloist and member of chamber music ensembles he has given concerts in Europe, Latin America , Far East and United States.

His many CD recordings, which also contain new discoveries and world premieres, are on labels such as BBC records, Channel Classics, Electrecord, Hungaroton and Naxos (including works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Dohnányi, Dvořak, Goldmark, Haydn, Koessler, Lajtha, Liszt, Moór, Pleyel, Rózsa, Rossini, Seiber, Szabó, Terényi, Vanhal).

He has finished the edition of the Pleyel Cello Concertos for Simrock (Boosey & Hawkes) Edition Company. He has discovered the manuscripts of these outstanding Cello Concertos and composed the cadences, made the piano reductions. As a professor Péter Szabó has given masterclasses all over the world: at the European Mozart Foundation founded by Sándor Végh , at the iClassical Academy, at the University of Sao Paulo, The Juilliard School, etc. He is currently also a lecturer at Leó Weiner Conservatory of Music. Péter Szabó is the artistic director – together with Michael Gieler– of The Bach Bridges Festival at the Budapest Music Center which is a collaboration between musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and their colleagues of the Royal Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam .

István Lajkó

István Lajkó started his music studies at Ágnes Lakatos, then he was a student of Sándor Falvai and Balázs Szokolay and graduated with honors in 2007 from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. Then, in 2014, he received a doctorate in summa cum laude. Mr. Lajkó has won a number of prestigious prizes home and abroad: He won the Béla Bartók Prize in the competition of the International Summer Music Academy of Baden, he is also winner of the Yamaha scholarship. He won First Prize in the Andor Földes Piano Competition. In 2010 he was awarded the Junior Prima Prize in the category of Hungarian Music. Mr. Lajkó has performed in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, China and the United States and several cities in Hungary.

In 2008, 2010 and 2013, he was selected as a soloist on the New Masters on Tour at the International Holland Music Sessions and four times as a member of the Summer Festival faculty. In 2017, he received an honorary concert from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Weimar, where in 2013 he was also an assistant to his teacher, Balázs Szokolay. During his studies, he also received a postgraduate art scholarship from the German DAAD organization. He is currently an associate professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and a senior lecturer at the Cologne College of Music and Dance.

Ágota Lénárt

Ágota Lénárt is a pianist, an excellent accompanist/repetiteur and professor. Born in Nagyvárad (Oradea), she studied music at the Cluj Academy of Music, where she graduated with honors in 1985. In 1983 she attended Weimar Master Classes with Bernard Ringeissen, and since 1989 she has been an active and passive student at the International Bartók Seminar and Festival in Szombathely for several times. For two years she studied with prof. Ferenc Rados. She performed in such acclaimed halls like the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Teatro al Fenice in Venice, the Ateneul Roman in Bucharest, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the Hungarian Academy of Rome, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, the Vigadó and the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio. She won prizes in numerous music competitions, most recently at the Zathureczky Memorial Competition, where she won the special award from the Budapest Pedagogical Institute. She recorded with Ildikó Szabó the album “Dance of the Elves” for Hungaroton record company. She is currently the Vice-director of the Leó Weiner Music School and Music High School in Budapest.

Mali Emese

Emese Mali is one of the foremost young pianists in Hungary. She graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 2004, having studied with Katalin Schweitzer, György Nádor, Balázs Réti, and Márta Gulyás. She completed her doctorate there in 2011. In 2000 and 2001 she was a guest student at the Mozarteum University of Music, Salzburg, Austria, in the class of Imre Rohmann. She attended master classes with Ferenc Rados, György Sebők, Dimitri Baskirov, Jan Wijn, and András Schiff.

Emese won first prize in the Andor Földes Competition in Budapest, 2000; a special prize by the International Mozart Foundation at the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg, 2001, and she was the Grand Prize winner at the Los Angeles International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, 2004. Emese Mali has given numerous recitals at prestigious Hungarian festivals. Her international appearances include recitals in several European cities - Salzburg (Schloss Mirabell), London (Kensington Palace), Karthage (Arcopolium Festival), Prague (Klementinum), Bratislava, Vienna (Bösendorfer-hall), Moscow, Bucharest, London, Helsinki (Sibelius Academy), Stuttgart, Rome -, as well as Mauritius and the United States (Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco). She gave a masterclass at the San Francisco Conservatory. She has performed as a soloist at the concerts of the Győr Philharmonics, the Danube Symphony Orchestra and the MÁV Symphony Orchestra.

Currently, Emese works with András Keller and the Concerto Budapest Symphonic Orchestra on a regular basis, so as she is playing chamber music events and orchestral concerts with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Also, she performs with with UMZE chamber ensemble. She is noted for presenting a number of contemporary Hungarian pieces. She has been a professor for chamber music and collaborative pianist at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy since 2009. She is also a recurring pianist at the Tibor Varga Summer Academy in Sion as well as at the masterclasses of the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove in England. Her latest CD “KornGOLDmark” has been released by Solo Musica München in 2014 with the violinist Orsolya Korcsolán.