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Balazs Szokolay

Balázs Szokolay was born into a family of musicians in Budapest in 1961. His father is a Kossuth prizewinner, composer Sándor Szokolay. Balázs started to play the piano at the age of five, taught by Erna Czövek. Later, at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, his professors included Klára Máthé, Pál Kadosa, Zoltán Kocsis, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados. Following his graduation in 1983, he won scholarships for two more years of studies in Munich and Moscow . He was instructed by Mikhail S. Vo skresensky, Amadeus Webersinke, Ludwig Hoffmann and Yvonne Lefebure. From 1973 to 1990, he has been a prizewinner at many international piano and chamber music competitions (including Leeds , Brussels , Montreal , Terni , Monza, Glasgow and Budapest).

More recently, he has been a frequent juror in major music competitions in countries such as the Germany, The Netherlands , Italy , Bulgaria , and Russia . He has given concerts and offered masterclasses in over thirty countries on four continents. His repertoire covers a wide range of styles with a strong focus on chamber music. Among his chamber music partners are Jean - Efflam Bavouzet , Amadinda ensemble , Clemens Hagen, Aurčle Nicolet, Zoltán Kocsis, Miklós Perényi, Gervaise de Peyer , Barnabás Kelemen.

As a soloist, Mr. Szokolay has performed with many orchestras, including the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle. In Belgrade , he replaced at the last moment Nikita Magaloff in the Brahms Concerto No. 1. To further expand his repertoire, Szokolay played harpsichord and conducted the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in London. Among his most important concert invitations: Festival La Roque d'Antheron ; Miami Piano Festival; Schleswig - Holstein; Spoleto; Seb ő k Festival; Tour in Japan; Concertgebouw; Konzerthaus Wien; Royal Festival Hall; Wigmore Hall; Torino Rai... He has recorded extensively with Naxos , Hungar oton , and other recording companies , included his own transcriptions . Some of his recordings has got international prizes . He has played numerous radio and television broadcasts at the request, among others, of the BBC - London, the RIAS - Berlin, the Ba varian Radio , the AVRO and TROS - Holland, the RAI - Torino, and the Hungarian Radio and Television.

He has been a piano professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest since 1987. During the 1997 - 98 academic year, he worked as a guest professo r at Yeungnam University , South Korea . In the Spring Semester of 2006, he was invited as a Visiting Scholar and piano professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey , USA . 2009 - 12. he was a guest professor at the University of Graz , and since 20 11. october he is a professor in Weimar F.Liszt Academy of Music. His students won already more than 50 international prizes in different music competitions. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Liszt Prize by the Hungarian Government.