Hungarian pianist Csaba Kiraly will present the Beeville Concert Association’s first concert of the new year Sunday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. in the Gertrude R. Jones Performing Arts Auditorium.
The internationally acclaimed musician is returning to the United States after an outstanding performance last year for the Corpus Christi Chopin Society. Philip Young, a member of the society and native of Beeville, was able to arrange a local concert for Kiraly during his second Texas tour.
All students through high school age are admitted free to the concert, as are Coastal Bend College students with their college photo ID’s. Other adults, those who do not hold season memberships, pay $7 at the door.
Kiraly was born at Komlo, Hungary in 1965 and began learning the piano at age six. At 12 years old he began to study the organ. His studies were continued at the Bela Bartok Secondary Music School in Budapest in 1981, and in 1983, he gained admission to the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.
As a young student, he won first prize in all national competitions organized for his age group: National Piano Competition for Music Schools (1980); National Piano Competition for Secondary Music Schools (1982); Erno Dohnanyi National Piano Competition (1990). In 1985, Kiraly won the first prize in the National Piano Competition of the Hungarian Radio, being one of the youngest competitors. As a result, he gained nationwide notoriety.
After several years teaching and performing, he started competing again and was first prize winner at the Ennio Porrino International Piano Competition (1996) in Cagliari, Italy. In the U.S., he won the New Orleans International Piano Competition (1997).
Kiraly has given concerts regularly both as pianist and organist since his early years as a student. Besides solo recitals, he often plays chamber music and appears as continuo or orchestral player. He has performed with about 30 famous orchestras and conductors.
He has performed in Europe, Asia, India, Africa and North America. His repertoire covers a wide range from the Baroque to contemporary music, including works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Bartok and the latest modern compositions. Kiraly’s name is linked with the Hungarian premieres of piano concertos by Lutoslawski and Ligeti.
In 1993, he was awarded a diploma for distinction in playing Hungarian contemporary music. Since 1995, he has taught piano at the Academy of Music in Budapest. He also gives international master classes in Hungary, the Netherlands, France, United States and Japan. Between 1997 and 1998 he was a guest organ teacher at the Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea.
Since 2002, Kiraly has been an honorary teacher of the Martyn Ferenc Free School of the Arts in Pécs, Hungary. Between 2004 and 2007 he was director of the Music Institute of the Musical and Visual Art Faculty at the University of Pécs, where he currently teaches piano and organ as associate professor.