Zoltán Kocsis

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Zoltán Kocsis (Hungarian: [ˈzoltaːn ˈkot͡ʃiʃ]; born May 30, 1952) is a Hungarian virtuoso pianist, conductor, and composer.

Born in Budapest, he started his musical studies at the age of five and continued them at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in 1963, studying piano and composition. In 1968 he was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he was a pupil of Pál Kadosa and Ferenc Rados.[1] Among his classmates were renowned pianists András Schiff and Dezső Ránki.

In 1970, he gave his first important debuts both at home and abroad. During the following 25 years he toured all over the world, performing with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Philharmonia of London, and the Wiener Philharmoniker. American critic Harold Schonberg praised Kocsis' extraordinary technique and fine piano tone.[2] Kocsis has recorded the complete solo and with orchestra piano work of Béla Bartók.[3] In 1990, his recording of Debussy's "Images"[4] won "The Gramophone" Instrumental Award for that year. He won another in 2013 in the chamber category with Bartók works.

In recent years, Kocsis has taken the role of conductor, especially with the Budapest Festival Orchestra (of which he was a founder)[5] and the Hungarian National Philharmonic, where he is the current musical director.[6]


  1. ^ Hungaroton LP SLPX11711 Liner Notes.
  2. ^ Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Second Edition, Simon & Schuster, 1987
  3. ^ Zoltán Kocsis plays Bartók, Philips 8 CD set 475 6720.
  4. ^ Now issued as Philips CD 475 210-2.
  5. ^ See Budapest Festival Orchestra website (links).
  6. ^ See Hungarian National Philharmonic website (links).

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi
Principal Conductors, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by

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