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Dénes Várjon und Izabella Simon

His sensational technique, deep musicality, wide range of interest have made Dénes Várjon one of the most exciting and highly regarded participants of international musical life. He is a universal musician: excellent soloist, first-class chamber musician, artistic leader of festivals, highly sought–after piano pedagogue.

Widely considered as one of the greatest chamber musicians, he works regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff , Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi, Joshua Bell. As a soloist he is a welcome guest at major concert series, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall. He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Russian National Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields). Among the conductors he has worked with we find Sir Georg Solti, Sándor Végh, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Horst Stein, Leopold Hager, Zoltán Kocsis. He appears regularly at leading international festivals from Marlboro to Salzburg and Edinburgh.

He also performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon playing four hands and two pianos recitals together. In the past decade they organized and led several chamber music festivals, the most recent one being „kamara.hu” at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. For some years he has been closely cooperating with Alfred Brendel: their Liszt project has been presented in many countries.

He has recorded for the Naxos, Capriccio and Hungaroton labels with critical acclaim. Teldec released his CD with Sándor Veress’s “Hommage à Paul Klee” (performed with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger and the Budapest Festival Orchestra). His recording “Hommage à Géza Anda”, (PAN-Classics Switzerland) has received very important international echoes. His solo CD with pieces of Berg, Janáček and Liszt was released in 2012 by ECM. In 2015 he recorded the Schumann piano concerto with the WDR Symphonieorchester and Heinz Holliger, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with Concerto Budapest and András Keller.

Dénes Várjon graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Parallel to his studies he was regular participant at international master classes with András Schiff. Dénes Várjon won first prize at the Piano Competition of Hungarian Radio, at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest and at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich. He is professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and was awarded with the Liszt, Sándor Veress and Bartók-Pásztory Prize. He also works for Henle’s Urtext Editions.

 

Izabella Simon

Pianist, graduated at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest as a student of György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, Jenő Jandó and Sándor Falvai. Since graduation, she has been a regular participant of the most prestigious international festivals such as the Ittingen Festival led by András Schiff and Heinz Holliger, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Beethoven Fest (Bonn), the Marlboro Festival (USA), the Nelson Festival (New Zealand), and Halls as the Carnegie Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), Tonhalle (Zürich), playing alongside musical partners such as Heinz Holliger, Steven Isserlis, Miklós Perényi, Christoph Richter and Radovan Vlatkovic. She attaches particular importance to increasing the popularity of songs, which is underlined by her appearances with Sylvia Sass, Andrea Rost, Ruth Ziesak, and Hanno Müller-Brachmann. As a soloist, she has performed with international orchestras as the Kremerata Baltica, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Camerata Bern, Musikkolegium Winterthur Orchester, in addition to a number of Hungarian orchestras. She frequently plays piano four hands, and two piano recitals in Hungary and abroad with her husband, pianist Dénes Várjon. In the past decade they organized and led several chamber music festivals. The most recent one was “Kamara.hu” at the Franz Liszt Music Academy. She has made records with Dénes Várjon (The Great Fuge-Hungaroton), Sylvia Sass (Liszt, Schubert songs-Cant Art) and Andrea Rost (Bartók, Kodály, Ligeti songs-Warner). In 2015, she launched a highly popular concert series for children focusing on classical music, guiding children in the world of other arts with the help of the genres in the framework of a complex performance. Following her highly successful concert held at 92 Y in New York, she has been invited to the famous Bard College as a guest professor in 2010. In order to promote chamber music, she has come up with the idea of the Night of Chamber Music, starring distinguished artists as Steven Isserlis or Ferenc Rados.