Prof. Balázs Szokolay
Professor of Piano
Fürstenhaus – Main Building
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. Voskresensky, 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 Usti-nad-Labem, Zwickau, Leeds, Brussels, Montreal, Terni, and Budapest. More recently, he has been a frequent juror in major music competitions in countries such as 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 Clemens Hagen, Aurèle Nicolet, Zoltán Kocsis, Miklós Perényi, Gervaise de Peyer. 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.
He has recorded extensively with Naxos, Hungaroton and other recording companies. One of his Grieg-Naxos CDs was named "Record of the Year" by London's Daily Telegraph in 1992. He has played numerous radio and television broadcasts at the request, among others, of the BBC - London, the RIAS - Berlin, the AVRO and TROS - Holland, the RAI - Torino, the CBC - Canada, and the Hungarian Radio and Television.
Since 2012, he is a piano professor at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar.