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Zoltán Kocsis (b1952)

At the age of five Zoltan Kocsis began five years of piano studies with a local teacher named Szmrecsany who introduced the boy to the works of Bartók. At ten he enrolled at the Bartók Conservatory where he studied piano and composition. At sixteen Kocsis continued his musical education at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest studying with Pál Kadosa, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág. Winning the Beethoven Competition sponsored by Hungarian radio when he was only eighteen ignited Kocsis’s career. Whilst still studying at the Academy he made his adult debut in Budapest, and toured Hungary. The following year he played in Dresden and then toured the United States. At the age of only twenty-one Kocsis was awarded the Liszt Prize by the Hungarian government and appointed as assistant to his old teacher Pál Kadosa. He graduated from the Liszt Academy in 1974 and two years later succeeded Kadosa as a professor of piano. In 1978 the Hungarian government honoured Kocsis with its highest award, the Kossuth Prize.

Kocsis has pursed his performing career at his own pace, and has chosen not to strive for a constant place in the limelight. His many other pursuits include teaching and composition. With Iván Fischer he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra with whom he has recorded, and helped form the New Music Studio in Budapest.



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