Istvan Vardai

ArtLink Festival Closing CONCERT: István Várdai, cello and the ArtLink Young Virtuosi

Great Hall of the Kolarac Endowment,
Sunday, 8 October 2017 at 20:00h

István Várdai, cello (Hungary), and The ArtLink Young Virtuosi

Closing CONCERT of the 4th ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival

Balkan, Visegrad

ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival proudly presents Hungary’s famous István Várdai – currently the most sought after cellist on the international classical music scene!
István Várdai will perform at the Festival’s closing concert together with the “ArtLink Young Virtuosi” youth ensemble.
This concert is brought to you in cooperation with the International Visegrad Fund and the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Belgrade – Balassi Institute Collegium Hungaricum.

Istvan Verdai


István Várdai closes the 4th ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival, together with the ArtLink Young Virtuosi youth ensemble:






Ištvan Vardai, ArtLink Festival

ISTVÁN VÁRDAI, cello (Hungary)

István Várdai, the 31-year-old Hungarian cellist was honoured with several prestigious international prizes: in 2008 he won the 63rd Geneva International Cello Competition, along with three special prizes: Audience Prize, “Pierre Fournier” Prize, “Coup de Coeur Breguet” Prize. He took the third prize of the Tchaikovsky Music Competition in Moscow in 2007. In 2006 he was awarded the special prize of the Emanuel Feuermann Cello Competition at the Kronberg Academy and received the first prize at the 13th International Brahms Competition in Austria. He was the winner of the David Popper International Music Competition three times (2000, 2003, 2004). In 2014 he won the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich.
Since his debut concert in 1997 in The Hague, he has performed in New York, London, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Frankfurt, Jerusalem, Munich, Berlin, Geneva, Dublin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Florence, Tokyo, Kobe, Shanghai, Beijing with great success. Along his starting career, he played with world-famous musicians and orchestras: Mikhail Pletnov, Ádám Fischer, Zoltán Kocsis, Howard Griffiths, Gilbert Varga, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Suisse Romande Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, American Symphony Orchestra.
He has been invited to Santander Festival, the Gergiev Festival in St. Petersburg, the Pablo Casals Festival (Spain), Festival of Radio France (Montpellier), Bellerive Festival (Switzerland), Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Verbier Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Schwetzingen Festival and the Budapest Spring Festival. His chamber music partners include András Schiff, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Nelson Goerner, Yura Lee, Kristóf Baráti, Shai Wosner, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Mischa Maisky, Dénes Várjon, to mention just a few.
From 2004 István studied in the Class of Special Talents at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest (professor: László Mező), from 2005 at the Music Academy of Vienna (professor: Reinhard Latzko). Between 2010 and 2013 he continued his studies at the Kronberg Academy with Professor Frans Helmerson. From 2013 he is on the staff of the Academy. In the past years, he attended masterclasses of Natalia Gutman, Natalia Shakhovskaya, András Schiff and János Starker.
In 2009 he was awarded the Junior Prima Prize as a best young artist of the year, in 2012 he received the prestigious Prix Montblanc awarded to the world’s most promising young musician. His first CD containing pieces of Janáček, Prokofiev and the Elgar cello concerto was released in October 2009 by Ysaye Records. In 2010 he recorded the cello concerto of Vanhal. On his CD released by the Hännsler label in 2013, he plays works by Mendelssohn, Martinu, Paganini, Beethoven and Popper. His CD with both versions of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations was released in 2014 by Brilliant Classics. His CD released in 2015 (“Singing Cello” – Hungaroton) features famous encores, the most recent one Bach’s solo cello suites (Brilliant Classics).
He is, together with Kristóf Baráti, artistic director of the Kaposfest Chamber Music Festival in Hungary. István Várdai plays the legendary “Ex du Pré-Harrell” Stradivari built-in 1673.



The ArtLink Young Virtuosi (founded in 2013) is a chamber ensemble made up of the most promising young musicians from Serbia. The members of the ensemble perform regularly as a part of the ArtLink Young Talents’ Music Cycle and at the ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival – recipient of the European Festival Association’s prestigious EFFE Label for 2015-2016 and 2017-2018.
The ArtLink Young Virtuosi have the exceptional opportunity to work and perform with renowned musicians such as Stefan Milenković, István Várdai, Jan Vogler, Pavel Doležal, Uki Ovaskainen, the RTS Radio Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Janaček and others, as well as with the young talents from other European countries and the Western Balkans Region.
ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival is a part of the European Festival Association’s network, and it enables every year – with the support of the EU Delegation to Serbia, the European Cultural Centres in Serbia and other donors – the residences and guest appearances of outstanding European artists visiting Serbia.

ArtLink Young virtuosi





Visegrad Fund


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