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Liszt 200 by Péter Balatoni

 

About the program


Famed Hungarian composer Ferenc Liszt, better known in the United States as Franz Liszt, was born 200 years ago in 1811. His fame as a pianist and a composer has survived waves of musical fashion, and Liszt stands today as one of the greatest figures in musical history. His romantic works are popular favorites the world over (Liebestraum, Hungarian rhapsodies and symphonic poems such as Mazeppa), while his innovative later work is considered to be an anticipation of late 19th century and 20th century styles. The concert will feature a balanced selection of works by Liszt, highlighting his versatility, the changes he underwent as a composer, and his universal genius.

 

About the artist


"Péter Balatoni is one of our youngest pianists in Hungary, one of those who represent continuity after the Kocsis-Ranki-Schiff generation. He has won recognition all around the world and is among the musicians who have become part of the tradition started by the three masters. ... Balatoni is an exceptionally well-qualified musician. His performance is civilized, and he confidently navigates through a great variety of different styles. His temperament embraces a wide range of qualities, from the explosive to the sensitive, filled with empathy."  - celebrated composer György Orbán.

 

Péter Balatoni was born in Nyíregyháza, Hungary in 1977. He began studying the piano with Ágnes Fesztóry in his native town. Between 1992-1996, he studied at Bartók Conservatory in Budapest. Among his professors were Katalin Schweitzer, Alex Szilasi and Gábor Csalog. He continued his studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, graduating with distinction in 2000. His piano instructor at the Academy was pianist Rita Wagner. Balatoni also holds a post-graduate degree from the Music Academy of Basel in Switzerland.

 

In 1992, Balatoni received the Special Award at the National Piano Competition and was awarded the Grand Prize for the best Brahms interpretation at the National Schubert-Brahms Piano Competition in 1997. In 1999, he also won the Jury's Special Award at the National Chopin Piano Competition. His debut concert included a performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A-minor at the Main Concert Hall of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest in June 2000.

 

During the decade since, Peter Balatoni has perfomed in concert halls in his native Hungary, Italy, France and Germany, and has given a series of charity concerts supporting the United Nation's World Food Program. He is currently touring the Americas with a program commemorating the legacy of Ferenc Liszt.

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