Katalin Kokas

Soloist, Violin

Arcangelo are delighted to be appearing in concert with Katalin Kokas in 2022/23.

Violin and viola virtuoso Katalin Kokas is one of the most outstanding figures in Hungary in the field of classical music. In addition to solo concerts, chamber music, performances with string quartets, and teaching all play prominent roles in her life. Since 2002, she has regularly held masterclasses all over the world and she has been an associate professor at the Liszt Academy of Music since 2004.

Kokas has worked with such illustrious artists as Zoltán Kocsis, Miklós Perényi, Michael Stern, Kobayashi Ken-Ichiro, Alexander Longquich, Pekka Kuusisto, Guy Braunstein, and the Chilingirian Quartet. Among many others, she has played with the Bratislava Chamber Orchestra, the Israeli Chamber Ensemble, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Taiwan Philharmonic, the Kosice Philharmonic, the Poznan Philharmonic, and the Târgu Mureş Philharmonic, as well as numerous symphony orchestras from North and South America, South Africa, and Hungary.

Kokas is a founding member of the Kelemen Quartet and she has appeared with them throughout Europe and also in the USA and Australia. The Quartet has performed with such major musicians as Joshua Bell, Ferenc Rados, József Lendvai, Maxim Rysanov, José Gallardo, Nicolas Altstaedt, and Frankl Péter. In 2011 they were awarded first prize at the Fourth Beijing International Music Competition for string quartets and second prize, Audience Prize, and the Musica Viva Prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, which assured the ensemble concerts in Australia for years to come. In 2012 they were invited to the Lockenhaus Festival and the Berliner Philharmonie for a debut performance and recording session. 2013 saw debuts at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and London’s Wigmore Hall, while in 2014 the Quartet toured both Australia and China for three weeks. Prominent in their diary for 2015 were appearances at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’ Palais de Beaux Arts, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Kokas began studying the violin under Mrs Béla Gyánó in the city of Kaposvár when she was only five years old. Her tuition continued in Pécs with György Papp and then at the age of 11 she was admitted to the Liszt Academy’s School for Exceptional Young Talents, where her mentors were Ferenc Halász and then Dénes Kovács. At 16, she received a scholarship at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Lóránd Fenyves. Following her time in Canada, Kokas returned to the Academy of Music where, tutored by Eszter Perényi, she graduated with honours. Her education was further enhanced by frequent visits to the private lessons and masterclasses of Ferenc Rados, Igor Ozim, Endre Wolf, Tibor Varga, György Pauk, Dénes Zsigmondy, György Kurtág, Jaime Laredo, and Leon Fleischer.

After winning national competitions in Hungary, in 1994 she was awarded first prize at the Kocian Violin Competition in the Czech Republic and then in 1996 won the Concerto Competition at the Toronto Royal Conservatory. In 1997 she came first in the Semmering Bartók Violin Competition and she won the Martinu Foundation Violin Competition in 1998. In 1999 she took first prize at the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, and in 2002 she was awarded first prize at the International József Szigeti Violin Competition.