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Event Information:

  • Mon
    29
    Nov
    2021

    Concert of János Balázs and chamber partners | Cziffra100

    19:00UK, London, Covent Garden, Saint Paul’s Church

    Celebrate Advent at the Liszt Institute’s cosy concert with Hungarian award-winning piano virtuoso János Balázs and young talents.

    The concert will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary Hungarian pianist György Cziffra. János Balázs, the artistic director of the Cziffra Festival and Memorial Year will perform together with his mentored students. The three young talent covers the whole spectrum of the world-renowned Hungarian music education including the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, the classical music talent show Virtuosos, the Snétberger Music Talent Centre, the Talentum Hungaricum programme and the Cziffra Festival Talent programme. The young performers are connected by János Balázs and the music heritage of György Cziffra.

    Orsolya Janszó pursues classical vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and the Conservatory of Bratislava. Throughout her career, she has sung in many churches and concert halls, including the Prado in Madrid, the Great Hall of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, the Altes Rathaus in Vienna and the Casino in Madrid where she sang personally to Queen Sophia. She sings pieces from the classical and romantic repertoire.

    Cecília Ungár is a 21-year old classical pianist who studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. Her mentors are János Balázs, artictic director of the Cziffra Festival and Katalin Falvai. She performed at several renowned competitions with outstanding results. In 2017, she made it to the semi-finals of the classical music talent show Virtuosos.

    Described by the Strad Magazine for her “magical simplicity” and true “aristocrat” by La Libre of the violin, Júlia Pusker came to international attention in her prizewinning performances at the prestigious 2019 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition in Brussels. Born into a family of musicians in Hungary, Júlia began her musical education at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest before moving to England to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Between 2016 and 2021, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels, working with Augustin Dumay.

    János Balázs is one of the most successful pianists who regularly performs at the renowned concert halls of the world. He is an associate professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. He is so far the youngest recipient of the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious state award in the field of culture, and as such, he is in the same league as musicians like György Ligeti, György Kurtág, András Schiff or Iván Fischer. His Young Steinway Artist title and the accolade of the State of Poland stand out from his international awards, the latter being conferred upon him for the performance of Frédéric Chopin’s complete works. In 2016, János Balázs founded the György Cziffra Festival, which he dedicated to the conservation and care of the intellectual and musical legacy of his role model, Hungarian-born virtuoso pianist and composer György Cziffra.

     

    Programme:

    Ungár Cecília (piano)

    Debussy: Deux Arabesques 1.; Gershwin: Swanee (Songbook); Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6

    Janszó Orsolya (soprano), Balázs János (piano)

    Tchaikovsky: „Nochi bezumnie” (Wild Nights); Dvořák: Rusalka’s Aria; Lehár: Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss 

    Pusker Júlia (violin), Balázs János (piano)

    Vecsey: Valse Triste; Hubay: Carmen Fantasy 

    Balázs János (piano)

     Mozart: Twelve Variations on “Ah, Vous Dirai-je, Maman” K.300e; Schumann-Liszt: Widmung; Puccini-Balázs: Lauretta’s Aria; Tchaikovsky-Balázs: The Nutracker Paraphrase; Brahms-Cziffra: Hungarian Dance No. 5; Balázs: Improvisation on Hungarian Christmas songs; Strauss-Cziffra-Balázs: Reminiscence 

Biography

János Balázs
– Bio

On the art of
János Balázs 

Teaching and education activity

Portfolio

“If you have heard János Balázs perform, you must have experienced a compelling and completely unique concert. He renders a 21st-century interpretation of classical music with spell-binding and superior technic and has a singular knack for capturing the audience. By doing so, he blurs the distance between the performer and his listener. His thematically unparallelled concerts and programme repertoire reach out to crowds – also the younger generations-, which he undertakes solely for the popularisation of classical music.”

He is keen to demonstrate his improvisation skills in various areas beyond the classical stage, such as jazz, world music, or folk music, which is always imbued with classical music’s values and the 20th-century tradition of improvision.

Music critiques highlight the delicacy and diverse colours of his piano playing, his unlimited dynamic scale and his fascinating virtuosity. Attending János Balázs’ concerts is a genuine time travel, as he evokes with full force the intimate ambience of the composers and pianists of the so-called 19th century golden age, like Franz Liszt or Frédéric Chopin.

He is a returning artist of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Liszt Academy and MüPa in Budapest. He has given celebrated concerts on the stages of the Cité de la Musique, Palau de Musica, Barbican Centre, Wiener Konzerthaus and the Royal Conservatory. He collaborated with such famed orchestras and conductors as Charles Dutoit, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Peter Eötvös, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Iván Fischer, the Royal Concertgebouworkest, Mikko Franck and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

János Balázs is a born soloist who also received the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Star “Artist of the Season” Award. He is well able to hold the attention of the audience by himself. Nonetheless, chamber music also plays a central role in his art, where he can delight his listeners with glamorous, sparkling and out-of-the-box performances alongside friends of a similar mindset and orientation, such as Mischa Maisky, Vadim Repin, or Jose Cura.

As a graduate of the Budapest-based Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, János Balázs finds it crucial to pass on Liszt’s tradition to future musicians. Some major universities of the world have taken notice of this mission of his, and he has been invited by the Canadian McGill University, the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, the Hanoi Conservatory of Music, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Accademia Internazionale per l’alta formazione Rome, to give masterclasses. He was also appointed associate professor of the Liszt Academy.

In 2016, János Balázs founded the György Cziffra Festival, which he dedicated to the conservation and care of the intellectual and musical legacy of his role model, György Cziffra. The festival has risen to one of the most high-ranking classical music festivals in Hungary; with its diversity of genres and the kind participation of international guest artists, it is an unmatched colour on the palette of the Hungarian culture scene.

2021, the 100th birthday of the legendary Hungarian pianist György Cziffra was declared an official memorial year by the Hungarian Government, with János Balázs as its artistic director. In collaboration with Unesco, within the framework of the memorial year 2021/2022, over 150 events took place in the most auspicious concert halls of 45 cities of 17 Asian and European countries with more than a hundred performers, such as Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Arcadi Volodos, and Vadim Repin

János Balázs is an awardee of nearly all professional and state accolades. He is so far the youngest recipient of the prestigious Kossuth Prize, and as such, he is in the same league as musicians like György Ligeti, György Kurtág, András Schiff or Iván Fischer. His Young Steinway Artist title and the accolade of the State of Poland stand out from his international awards, the latter being conferred upon him for the performance of Frédéric Chopin’s complete works. Since 2023 he has been member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. In 2022, his album ImprovisArt won the first prize and the audience prize of the Music International Grand Prix in New York, and he was jury member of the Long-Thibaud Competition.

Media

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  • Koncertfotók / Concert photos
  • Profilfotók / Photos
  • Egyéb fotók / Other photos
  • Videók / Videos

Press

Why couldn’t we enjoy a Cziffra Festival ever after, even weekly or daily, if we like? – article by Sándor Olasz on the CD ImprovisArt (Sheva) by János Balázs Download

Célébration Cziffra Download

2009 concert critic  Download

Hungarian pianist conquers in his U.S. debut   Download

Management:
Anita Kántor | Phone:+36 30/450-90-64 | Email: kantoranita@cziffrafesztival.hu
Szilvia Besszer | Phone: +36 30/468-88-98 | Email: info@balazsjanos.com

Communication:
Anna Hegedűs | Phone: +36 30/565-84-42