Zoltan Kocsis

One of the most important and most versatile figures on the Hungarian music scene for over forty years, Zoltán Kocsis is one of few Hungarian artists who has also been at the international forefront for a long time. He is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the music of Béla Bartók and artistic director of the multiple award-winning Bartók New Series. He has been chief music director of one of Hungary’s top symphony orchestras since 1997. Under his baton the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra has performed the works of Richard Strauss, Debussy, Schoenberg, Ravel and Rachmaninov in some ambitious, void-filling projects. Kocsis also promotes the cause of 20th and 21st-century, contemporary Hungarian music. In addition to his activity as a conductor, soloist, chamber musician and teacher, he also composes, and countless orchestrations and piano transcriptions are linked with his name. He has appeared in major festivals in Edinburgh, Paris, Tours, Luzern, La Roque d’Anthéron, Salzburg, Prague and Verbier, and he is regularly invited to the juries of international competitions. He has appeared with renowned orchestras such as the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, and as a soloist he has worked together with prominent maestros including Claudio Abbado, Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. A two-time recipient of the Kossuth Award, the Prima Primissima Prize, the l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic, Kocsis is the first artist to have received the Hungarian Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Life Award. He is a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Literature and Arts and in every May for more than twenty-five years he has given a charity concert for the International Children’s Safety Service.