Sat28Nov202015:00Liszt Academy Grand Hall
Beethoven Days Chamber Concert No 1 | In Honour of Annie Fischer
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D major (‘Ghost’), Op. 70/1
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F major, Op. 135
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 70/2
Featuring: András Keller violin, Miklós Perényi cello, János Balázs piano, Hungarian Quartet
Intimate, suggestive, familiar – these words effectively join together the individual works of this matinee concert, and indeed they really are the most personal confessions of Beethoven. The two piano trios that begin and end the concert were written during the months the composer spent as a guest of Anna Mária Erdődy, and they are both dedicated to the countess for her hospitality. The Piano Trio in D major was dubbed ‘Ghost’ after an observation by the composer’s student, Carl Czerny, who said the slow movement reminded him of the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The String Quartet in F major inserted between the two trios is Beethoven’s last completed major work. Music historians were long puzzled by the inscription to the fourth movement – The difficult decision – and on the first score written for vocal part and not intended for performance – Must it be? It must be! They believed that Beethoven had a premonition of his death, yet the explanation was far more banal than this: he was quoting the words of an amateur cellist who did not want to pay for a concert ticket, and an earlier witty canon written to these words. The piano part of the trios is taken by János Balázs, one of the most sought-after pianists applauded for his emotionally rich technique. He is joined by two peers: András Keller and Miklós Perényi, while the string quartet is performed by Hungarian Quartet who debuted (with great success) early in the year.
PRESENTED BY: Concerto Budapest
TICKETS: HUF 1 500, 2 500, 3 500, 4 500, 5 900
János Balázs, one of the most successful and acclaimed pianists in classical music in Hungary, is renowned for his performances in the world’s most prestigious concert venues. He is one of the few artists equally loved by audiences, fellow professionals, and music critics. In 2019, at the age of 31, Mr. Balázs was awarded Hungary’s highest cultural award, the Kossuth Prize, following in the footsteps of revered Hungarian artists such as András Schiff, György Ligeti and Iván Fischer. Also in 2019 he became Steinway Artist.
He has performed with soloists and conductors such as Mischa Maisky, Tamás Vásáry, Jose Cura, Stéphane Denéve, Vadim Repin, Pinchas Steinberg, Jukka Iisakkila, Charles-Olivier Munroe, Roger Bausier, David Mathues, Gwendolyn Masin, and István Várdai and has played concerts with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nagoya Symphonic Orchestra, the Zagreb Radio Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In the last few years Mr. Balázs gave concerts to great public acclaim in the Bozar (Brussels), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Konzerthaus (Vienna), the Palau de Musica (Barcelona), the Barbican (London), the Cologne Philharmonie, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow).
Mr. Balázs is a regular soloist in ’The Piano’ concert series in Budapest, which also features Grigory Sokolov, Evgeni Koroliov, Nikolai Lugansky, and Arcadi Volodos, among others. His solo concerts and concert series offer a unique experience for his audiences. His three innovative series ‟Three Portraits of János Balázs,” ‟Three Portraits of the Piano,” and ‟PianOpera” have drawn enthusiastic crowds.
He is one of the few classical musicians who is willing and able to improvise at live concerts.
Born in Budapest in 1988, Mr. Balázs earned his degree from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. In 2011 he played all works composed for the piano by Chopin in a series of 16 concerts, receiving a national honour from the Polish government for the achievement. He has won six international piano competitions among others the Aspen Concerto Competition, also in 2011. During the 2013/2014 concert season, Mr. Balázs received an award as Rising Star Artist of the Season in competition against musicians from 19 countries. This award launched a tour of the greatest concert halls of Europe, organised by the ECHO network (European Concert Hall Organisation).
In 2015 he received the Liszt Ferenc Award, the highest national honour bestowed on musicians by the Hungarian government. At the end of the same year he received the Gramofon Award for Hungarian Classical Music. The following year he founded the Georges Cziffra Festival in homage to his idol. The festival has since blossomed into one of the most prestigious classical music events in Hungary. Since 2017 he has been a member of the jury of ’Virtuosi’ a classical music talent show broadcast by Hungarian television.
He is member of the Hungarian Art Academy. Since 2019 he has been a piano professor at the Liszt Academy Budapest.
His performances can also be enjoyed on several CD, DVD, and television recordings.