The Liszt Institute London's traditional Christmas concert featured virtuoso pianist János Balázs and young talents who performed in front of hundreds of guest with huge success. The event was opened by guest of honour Katalin Novák, Minister for Families.
The concert celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary Hungarian pianist György Cziffra at Covent Garden's St Paul's Church. János Balázs, the artistic director of the Cziffra Festival and Memorial Year performed 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.
The György Cziffra Memorial Year is supported by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and the Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt. The Memorial Year’s partner in organising the concert in London is the Liszt Institute - Hungarian Cultural Centre London.