Hungarian master pianist Janos Balazs' tunes to dazzle Istanbul.
One of Hungary’s leading classical music artists, pianist Janos Balazs is set to dazzle Istanbul with his incredible melodies emanating from ivory keys.
Praised by the critics for his superior piano technique and stage performances, Balazs will be performing at the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) on June 8 as part of the Beyoğlu Culture Road Festival organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He promises Istanbulites an unforgettable evening with his magical compositions.
The award-winning pianist, who has performed countless concerts on the world’s most prestigious stages, will perform his first concert in Turkey in memory of Hungarian master pianist Ferenc Liszt on the 175th anniversary of Liszt’s arrival to Istanbul. Balazs is a graduate of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy.
The concert will be held with the support of Hungary’s Istanbul Consulate General and the Istanbul Liszt Institute Hungarian Cultural Center. His performance is also a part of the “Cziffra100” event series organized as part of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian artist György Cziffra, who is considered among the greatest piano virtuosos.
Balazs is known for his superior piano technique, for masterfully bringing classical music into the 21st century and for his stage performances that influence the younger generations. Aiming to offer classical music to large audiences, he heightens his performances with his thematically unique concerts and extensive repertoire.
In addition to classical music, Balazs is able to improvise in a range of genres, from jazz to world and folk music. His performances are praised by critics and compared to those of unforgettable pianists of the 19th century like Liszt and Frederic Chopin.
Performing on the most prestigious stages such as the Royal Conservatory, the Cite de la Musique and the Wiener Konzerthaus, Balazs also continues his academic studies as an associate professor at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music.
Ferenc Liszt had a great admiration for Turkish culture and he visited Istanbul for the first time in 1847. Hoping to meet the sultan, he wanted to introduce his music to the Ottomans. Liszt was welcomed in Istanbul by Baran Resta, the chief translator, and pianist of the sultan of the time, Abdülmecid I.
Liszt wrote in a letter to Countess Marie d’Agoult in which he said that the sultan was extremely generous to him and how he was surprised that the sultan had heard of him. Liszt took the stage twice before Abdülmecid I, who was very interested in Western music and was an opera fan. Staying for five weeks in Turkey, Liszt performed various concerts in reputed Istanbul mansions.
With that in mind, Balazs prepared the repertoire of his first concert in Turkey inspired by the concerts Liszt gave 175 years ago.