The most important class, however, for me and for hundreds of other Hungarian musicians, was the chamber-music class. From about the age of fourteen, and until graduation from the Academy, all instrumentalists except the heavy-brass players and percussionists had to participate in this course. Presiding over it for many years was the composer Leó Weiner, who thus exercised an enormous influence on three generations of Hungarian musicians.

Sir Georg Solti

Marcell Szabó


Marcell Szabó took his first official piano lessons at the age of eight, and by the time he was twelve he was studying in the Liszt Academy’s Special School for Exceptional Young Talents, under the tutelage of Gábor Eckhardt. For a long time he put at least as much energy into roller skating as playing the piano, but after a series of injuries he had to decide, and chose the piano over the extreme sport. In the 2010–2011 academic year he was a student at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and since 2012 he has continued his studies at the Doctoral School of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. The pianist, who in 2016 was awarded the Annie Fischer Scholarship and in 2015 the Junior Prima Award, has also swept up the prizes at numerous international competitions in recent years. In 2014, for example, he took 1st prize and the Contemporary Music and Orchestra Award at the International Bartók Piano Competition in Szeged, 3rd prize in the 33rd International Delia Steinberg Piano Competition in Madrid, and 1st prize and a special award in Paris at the 16th International Île de France Piano Competition. The success in Paris was one of the events on his “bucket list”, and led to many festival invitations, while he also got the opportunity to perform at a solo evening in the French capital. The orchestra award that he won at the Bartók competition, meanwhile, provided him with the opportunity to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor on stage in 2015. Rachmaninoff’s music has always held an attraction for him; the unusual Russian melodies, forms and harmonies are especially close to his heart. As the lead player in evenings of solo and chamber music, Marcell Szabó has given concerts in Vienna, Madrid, Hamburg, Brussels, Luxembourg, Nagoya and the Crimean Peninsula

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