Biography

Csaba Király (1965) graduated at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest as performing artist in 1989 (organ), and in 1990 (piano). During his student years he won first prize in all national competitions organized for his age group. He was also the first prize winner at the International Piano Competition in Cagliari 1996 (Italy) and in New Orleans 1997 (USA). Since his student years he has given concerts regularly both as pianist and organist and his exceptional talents have made him a popular young artist. Beyond his recitals in Hungary, he has had concert engagements in nearly all European countries, winning great success in United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Egypt and India. His repertoire covers a wide range from the Baroque to contemporary music. Besides performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt and Bartok, performing the latest modern compositions plays a prominent role in his concert programmes. A characteristic aspect of his repertoire is improvisation. He has obtained the basic knowledge of improvising from his music school teacher Maria Apagyi, as an active student of the Artistic Workshop in Komlo. He approaches music as a composer, which is proved by his numerous arrangements. He has made a significant number of organ transcriptions of orchestral and choral works, which he often plays not only in Hungary, but in countries from Western Europe to Japan, China, South Korea and the United States. Csaba Király is attracted towards great missions and challenges, which gives him free energy for his creative work. Several times he has performed Liszt’s and Bach's complete organ works, complete piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, complete piano works of Béla Bartók. Since 2001 he has been undertaking a huge series of 100 concerts, lasting some years, of the complete piano music of Liszt. His piano-organ CD of Liszt: B-A-C-H Prelude and Fugue, B-A-C-H Fantasia and Fugue, “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” Variations was awarded “Classic CD of the Year 2001” in Hungary (Gramofon-prize). In 2003 he has been awarded a Liszt Ferenc prize for his artistic activity. In 2005 he established the First Pécs International Piano Competition in memory of Liszt Ferenc, in which he was one of the jury members. In 2004 he has been elected as the Secretary-general, in 2013 as the president of the Liszt Ferenc Society. As a piano teacher he has taught several years at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Between 1997 and 1998 he was a guest organ teacher at the Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea. Since 2002 he has been the head of the Piano Department, currently he teaches as associate piano and organ professor in the Institute of Music of the Musical and Visual Art Faculty at the University of Pécs and from the year of 2014 he is the director of the Béla Bartók Memorial House in Budapest.

Biography (long version)

Csaba Király was born at Komlo in 1965. He was six when he started learning the piano under Maria Apagyi. At the age of twelve he began to learn the organ under Istvan Lantos. From 1981 his studies were continued at the "Bela Bartok" Secondary Music School in Budapest with Katalin Halmagyi, and in 1983 he gained admission to the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. His professors were Zoltan Kocsis, Sandor Falvai, piano; Ferenc Gergely, organ. He received his performer's diploma in 1989 for organ, and in 1990 for piano. During his student years he won first prize in all national competitions organized for his age group: 1980 - National Piano Competition for Music Schools (Nyiregyhaza); 1982 - National Piano Competition for Secondary Music Schools (Bekestarhos); 1990 - Erno Dohnanyi National Piano Competition (Academy of Music Budapest). In the meantime in 1985 he - won the first prize in the National Piano Competition of the Hungarian Radio, being one of the youngest competitors, as a result of which he became known throughout the country. After several years teaching and concert giving he undertook to play in competitions again, and was first prize winner at the "Ennio Porrino" International Piano Competition in Cagliari 1996 (Italy), and the New Orleans International Piano Competition 1997 (USA). Since his student years he has given concerts regularly both as pianist and organist and his exceptional talents have made him a popular young artist. He possesses unbelievably fast learning ability and manual skills, which border the limits of what is possible. His musical inspiration has enabled him to overcome any external difficulties, and his susceptibility towards rarities and specialties means he provides his audience with an individual experience under all circumstances. He is familiar with all the fields of keyboard playing. Beside his solo recitals he often plays chamber music, or appears as continuo or orchestral player. He has appeared in concerts with about thirty famous orchestras and conductors. At the same time he also plays as a member of the „Aperto Trio”. His fondness for great variety is a constitutional characteristic, which has helped him to avoid one of the biggest threats to the successful artist, that of becoming routine and narrow. As a result he has now come closer to the conductor’s profession. Beyond his recitals at home, he has had concert engagements in nearly all European countries, winning great success in Japan, United States, Canada, South Korea, Egypt and India. As a returning guest artist he has taken part in numerous national and international festivals such as the Summer Music Festival in Pecs; the Bartok Seminar Szombathely; the „Music of our Age” Festival Budapest; the Jewish Summer Festival Budapest; the Spring Festival in Budapest, Pecs and Szombathely; the Salzburger Festspiele; the ISCM World Music Days Stockholm; the Helsinki Biennale; the Frankfurter Orgeltage; the Rheindorfer Orgelkonzerte (Lustenau); Musica Danubiana Ljubljana; Musik Vredenburg (Utrecht); MittelFest (Cividale); Festa Musica Pro (Assisi, Orvieto); "Festival Lombardia Europa Musica" (Crema, Seregno); the International Piano Series - College of Charleston, SC, Stan Hywet Hall Akron, OH; Concertgebouw, the Holland Festival and more… His repertoire covers a wide range from the Baroque to contemporary music. Besides performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt and Bartok, performing the latest modern compositions plays a prominent role in his concert programmes. His name is linked with the Hungarian premieres of piano concertos by Lutoslawski and Ligeti. In 1993 he was awarded a diploma for distinction in playing Hungarian contemporary music. He played the UK premiere of the Gy. Kurtag Double Concerto in London, and participated with famous orchestras in the first performances of the Kurtag: „What is the Word?” in several countries. A characteristic aspect of his repertoire is improvisation. Since 1975 he has obtained the basic knowledge of improvising from his teacher Maria Apagyi, then as an active student of the Artistic Workshop in Komlo, leaded by her, founded in 1977. The fine artist Ferenc Lantos also helped a lot in this "workshop project". Apart from free improvisation he mostly improvises himself – where possible – the cadences in concertos. He approaches music as a composer, which is proved by his numerous arrangements. He has made a significant number of organ transcriptions of orchestral and choral works, which he often plays not only in Hungary, but in countries from Western Europe to Japan and the United States (e.g. Liszt: Danse Macabre, Les preludes, Hungarian Coronation Mass; Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nr. 2, 3, 4; Mahler: Symphonies Nr. 1, 8; Beethoven: Symphony Nr. 9; Schumann: First Symphony; Franck: Symphony D minor; Verdi: Requiem; Mendelssohn: Symphony Nr. 4; Midsummer Nights Dream). Csaba Kiraly is attracted towards great missions and challenges, which gives him free energy for his creative work. Several times he has performed the complete Bach Wohltemperiertes Clavier, Liszt’s complete organ works (1998-2000 Matthias Church, Buda Castle), Bach’s complete organ works (2000 Dunaharaszti; 2001-2002 Deak ter Lutheran Church, Budapest, Mozart's, Beethoven's and Schubert's complete piano sonatas (2006-2009 Pecs, Dom Museum, House of Arts and Literature), Bartok’s complete piano works (2009-2010 Bartok Memorial House, Budapest). Since 2001 he has been undertaking a huge series of one hundred concerts, lasting some years, of the complete piano music of Liszt. His piano-organ CD of Liszt: B-A-C-H Prelude and Fugue, B-A-C-H Fantasia and Fugue, „Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” Variations was awarded „Classic CD of the Year 2001” in Hungary (Gramophone-prize). In 2003 he has been awarded a Liszt Ferenc prize for his artistic activity. In 2004 he started series of benefit organ concerts for the restoration of the big organ of the Cathedral in Pécs (Hungary). In 2005 he established the First Pécs International Piano Competition in memory of Liszt Ferenc, in which he was one of the jury members. In 2005 he has been elected to be the Secretary-general of the Hungarian Liszt Ferenc Society, and from 2013 he is the president of the Liszt Society. In 2007 He was jury member of two further piano competitions: 2nd International Piano Competition in memory of Liszt Ferenc in Pecs, International Beethoven Piano Competition in Arad (Romania). Since 1995 he has been teaching piano at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, and regularly gives international master classes in Hungary, Netherlands, France, United States and Japan. Between 1997 and 1998 he was a guest organ teacher at the Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea. Since 2002 he has been an honorary teacher of the Martyn Ferenc Free School of the Arts in Pécs. Between 2004 and 2007 he was the director of the Music Institute of the Musical and Visual Art Faculty at the University of Pécs, where he currently teaches piano and organ as associate professor and from the year 2014 he is the director of the Béla Bartók Memorial House in Budapest.
Csaba Király pianist & organist

Prizes, Awards

2009 - Habilitation degree (University of Pécs) 2003 - Liszt Ferenc Prize 2001 - Awarded "Classic CD of the Year 2001" in Hungary (Gramophone-prize)         - Pro Urbe Award from the city of Komló (Hungary) 1997 - First Prize, New Orleans International Piano Competition (USA) 1996 - First Prize, 5th "Ennio Porrino" International Piano Competition Cagliari (Italy) 1993 - Awarded a diploma for distinction in playing Hungarian contemporary music 1990 - First Prize, Ernő Dohnányi National Piano Competition (Academy of Music, Budapest) 1985 - First Prize, Piano Competition of the Hungarian Radio (Budapest) Before 1985 - First Prize winner of several national piano competitions in Hungary