Soloist and conductor, Gergely Vajda is one of the internationally acclaimed Hungarian musicians. He attended several times at master courses, such as the famous Darmstadter Ferienkurse and the Kyrill Kondrashin Maasterklas in The Netherlands (playing a central role in the film about the latter), held by the conductor-composer, Péter Eötvös.
In honor of his work as a composer, Mr. Vajda has been awarded with a number of prizes. He plays a relevant role in music education as well: since the beginning of 1998, he has been the second conductor of the Dohnányi Ernő Symphony Orchestra in Budafok. In 1998 he received the one-year conductor scholarship of Artisjus; in 1999 he gained Annie Fischer State Scholarship for performers while in 2000 he was given the Zoltán Kodály State Scholarship for composers.
In 1999 Vajda made his debut at the Hungarian State Opera with the Miraculous Mandarin and The Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók. In 2000, at the Budapest Spring Festival, he conducted the first performance of The Three Sisters, an opera by Péter Eötvös.
Since 2002 Vajda has filled the position of assistant conductor at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 he worked as resident conductor at Oregon Symphony Orchestra in Portland. Between 2009 and 2013 he was the music director and conductor of the Music in the Mountains Festival in California, US. From 2011 to 2014 Vajda led the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra as first conductor, later as first guest conductor. Since 2014 he has contributed to the success of Armel Opera Festival and Competition as art director.
The internationally renowned, Kossuth and Erkel Prize winner composer, Zoltán Jeney pursued a career of unique achievents.
Discovering unregistered sound systems, he dealt with several non-musical phenomena (chess games, meteorological data) transcripting them to musical settings. He attended computer composing courses at IRCAMin Paris, developping a so-called pseudo-modal scale system.
As a research professor he worked at Columbia University in New York; at the Musicology Department of the Franz Liszt Music Academy Jeney was a teacher of composing before he became the head the department of composition and conducting. Recently, he is the leader of the Doctoral School at the university.
As a guest professor, Mr. Jeney held courses at the musical faculty (School of Music) of Chicago Nortwestern University. He is a former chairman of Hungarian Compers’ Union and a member and vice president of the Presidency of ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music).
His opus consists of orchestral works, chamber and choral works, electronic and digital compositions as well as sound tracks and incidental music.
In honor of his composing career, he was awarded with various prizes as Kassák Prize, Erkel Ferenc Prize, Artist of Meriz Award, Kossuth Prize, Artisjus Music Award, Aegon Art Prize and Bartók-Pásztory Award.
József Balog is one of the most brilliant representative of the young pianist generation. He used to teach for years at the piano department of the Franz Liszt Music Academy and holds courses on a regular basis in Hungary an throughout Europe.
Since his young age he has won a number of awards at national and international competitions. Starting at his teens, he has given concerts in more than twenty countries of three different continents, at the most prestigious concert halls, as a chamber musiciand and as a soloist as well.
His repertoire is considered extremely wide: in addition to the standard piano pieces he readily plays chamber music, rarely performed composers and jazz, not to mention musical settings by himself. Contemporary music also plays a crucial role in József Balog’s life.
He had made several records for Hungarian Radio and Television; his concerts were broadcasted by BBC Radio and the most important classical music radio stations in The Netherlands, Turkey, Russia and Romania.
So far, seven records of him has been released. First of them, titled „Hungaricum”, was the only CD that won the Grand Prix of the International Franz Liszt Recording Competition in 2005. The same year József Balog was given Annie Fischer Scholarship by the Ministry of Culture of Hungary.