Artistic directors

Katalin Kokas and Barnabás Kelemen

Katalin Kokas

Ms Kokas is a Liszt- and Junior Prima Awards-winning violinst and violist. She started her music education at the age of 5 and was admitted to the School of Exceptional Young Talents at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, from where she graduated with honours as Eszer Perényi’s student following a fellowship in Canada. The Bartók Violin Competition in Semmering and the first place at the József Szigeti International Violin Competition stand out of her many contest accomplishments. Since 2004, she has been on the academic staff of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, and it was at her inititative that in 2010 the Kaposvár Chamber Music Festival was founded.

Barnabás Kelemen

He is a Kossuth- and Liszt Awards-winning violinist and is also acknowledged with the Knight of Cross from the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. Mr Kelemen was only 11 when, he started his higher education studies in the School of Exceptional Young Talents at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and graduated in 2001 under the tutelage of Eszter Perényi. In 1999, he won the International Salzburg Competition is Salzburg, and two years later the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He has been teaching violin at the Liszt Academy since 2005 and acts regularly as guest professor at Indiana University Bloomington.

Gergely Fazekas on the artistic director of Festival Academy Budapest:

„My former piano teacher, Zsuzsa Pertis, would often talk with great and sincere enthusiasm about her daughter-in-law, Kati, who was endowed with so many wonderful gifts: she was not only a sublime violinist but also a marvellous cook, an excellent painter and had a special talent for interior design. She told me of course – before and after the piano lessons – about her only son, Barna, too, always with a heartfelt, yet restrained maternal admiration. She was also proud of her children’s awards (Kati had just come first at the József Szigeti International Violin Competition, while Barna had just won first prize at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, as well as six out of the eight special prizes and came third at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels), but she was most proud of the fact that her son had performed Bartók’s Violin Concerto alongside Kocsis and that he had played Berg’s Violin Concerto in the Concertgebouw under the baton of Péter Eötvös. Above a certain technical level, judging performing arts is a matter of taste, thus I can relate to you how I personally feel about their art, for example that I am exceedingly fond of the combination of spontaneity, technical skills, awareness of stlye and profound musicality that is so characteristic of their performance. I am simply smitten by the fact they never play the same piece the same way twice, that they dare to take risks, that whatever they do – play in a string quartet, give classes or organise a festival – they do it with relentless faith, that they make music and live with the same glowing intensity, now with three children, Hanna, who is mad about beat-boxing and strives to be an actor, the football-player and violinist Gazsi and Olga, who toddles with musical dance-steps.”