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Kelemen p An artist of “innate musicality” with a technical execution that belongs “only to the greatest” (The Guardian), Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen has already captured the attention of the music world. With a repertoire that ranges from classical to contemporary music, Kelemen gave the Hungarian premières of the Ligeti and Schnittke Violin Concertos as well as the Hungarian première and world première of violin works by Gubaidulina and Kurtág.
In addition to appearances with all the major orchestras in Hungary, Barnabás Kelemen has collaborated with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the Indianapolis Symphony, Lahti Symphony, Mozarteum Salzburg, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Trondheim Symphony. He has performed with esteemed conductors such as Peter Eötvös, Iván Fischer, Marek Janowski, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Masaaki Suzuki and Krzysztok Urbánski. Kelemen was Artist in Residence at the Musis Sacrum in Arnhem for the 2010-11 season; play-and-lead projects have included collaborations with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Kelemen has performed with Zoltán Kocsis, Miklós Perényi and Shai Wosner, amongst others, with recitals in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall. He is first violinist of the Kelemen Quartet, which placed second and won the Audience and Musica Viva Australia Prizes at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2011.
Highlights in the 2011/12 season include debuts with the BBC Symphony and Tonu Kajuste, Kioi Sinfonietta and Gábor Takács-Nagy, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestras with Olari Elts, Orchestra della Toscana with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker (Brahms Double), Philharmonia Auckland, Rubinstein Philharmonic Lodz with Daniel Raiskin, as well as return engagements with the Hungarian National Philharmonic (Kelemen Quartet), Indianapolis Symphony (Play & Conduct), Lahti Symphony with Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Malaysian Philharmonic with Olari Elts, Oulu Symphony, Pannon Philharmonic Pècs (Play & Conduct) and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestras. Further ahead he will appear with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (Play & Lead), Tapiola Sinfonietta, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken/Kaiserslautern, American Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
Barnabás Kelemen’s varied discography has been received to critical acclaim, with his recording of Bartók’s Rhapsodies and Second Violin Concerto winning the German Record Critics’ Award 2011 in the concerto category. His recording of Brahms’ Sonatas for Violin and Piano has also won a Diapason d’Or, and that of Liszt’s complete works for violin and piano was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque 2001 by the International Liszt Society. Among his more recent recordings are a live DVD of the complete Mozart Violin Concertos and CDs of Bartók’s Violin Concerto no. 1 and Solo Sonata.
Born in Budapest in 1978, Barnabás Kelemen entered the Franz Liszt Music Academy at the age of eleven and later went on to become Third Prize Winner of the 2001 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and took First Prize at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 2002. In recognition of his achievements the Hungarian Government awarded him the Sándor Végh Prize in 2001, the Franz Liszt Prize in 2003, Rózsavölgyi Prize in 2003 and most recently the Kossuth Prize in 2012. Since 2005 he has been a professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy Budapest and a guest professor at Indiana University in Bloomington.
He performs on a Guarneri del Gesù violin of 1742 (ex-Dénes Kovács), generously loaned by the State of Hungary.