József Balog is one of the most talented pianists of his generation. This exceptionally gifted performer was born in 1979 in Budapest as an heir to the internationally well known Hungarian piano tradition established by Franz Liszt, Ernst von Dohnányi, and Béla Bartók. He has been praised by critics and acclaimed by audiences for his brilliant technic and very deep, sensitive musicianship. Despite his young age, he has a huge repertoire of concertos, recital programs and chamber music. Along with standard piano repertoire, he plays works by neglected composers, jazz, contemporary music and his own transcriptions
József Balog has given lots of concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in more than 20 countries accross Europe, America and Asia. He appeared in great concert halls such as the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Chan Centre (Vancouver), Kensington Palace (London – in the presence of Prince Charles), Palace of Arts (Budapest), Vredenburg Music Center (Utrecht), Musikhuset (Aarhus), Antonin Castle (Poland), Equinoxe (Chateauroux), Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic Hall (Lodz), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Teatre de la Monnaie (Brussels), Philharmonic Hall (St Petersburg), to name but a few. He also enjoyed great success in the Chopin Festival (Mallorca, 1999), Piano Festival (Tiszadob, 2003), Lisztomanias (Chateauroux, 2005), Schubertiade (Roskilde, 2006), Spring Festival (Russia, 2006), Festival Lago Maggiore (Italy, 2006), Winter Festival (Sarajevo, 2007), Liszt Festival (Sopron, 2010,2011) and Liszt Festival (Ankara, 2011). His playing was broadcasted on radio and television in Hungary and Russia, and on the radio in Denmark, Holland, the European Union Radio and the UK (BBC Radio). At the request of Dutch television (VPRO, 2005), he recorded Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor. He has played with orchestras such as the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra , Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra, Presidential Symphony Orchestra,Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Szeged Symphony Orchestra, Pécs Symphony Orchestra, Dohnányi Ernő Symphony Orchestra, Danube Symphony Orchetra, Miskolc Symphony Orchestra, Debrecen Symphony Orchestra, under the the direction of great conductors including Tamás Vető, Ferenc Gábor,Felix Carrasco, András Deák, Balázs Kocsár, Csaba Somos, László Kovács, Tamás Gál, Gábor Hollerung, Zsolt Hamar and Gergely Kesselyák.
One of the most talented pianists of his generation, József Balog was born in 1979 in Budapest. Under the guidance of his father, he started learning the piano at the age of four. He studied for a piano teaching and chamber music diploma at the Liszt Ferenc Music University (Budapest) under Prof. Annamária Krause Bodoky, graduating in 2001. His graduate studies were under the direction of Prof. Jandó Jenő; he received his diploma as a concert pianist in May, 2004. He obtained excellent qualifications in both diplomas. Along with the standard piano repertoire, he plays works by neglected composers (such as Burghardt, Bentzon, Rodrigo and Tansman etc.), contemporary music and he also plays jazz music and his own transcriptions.
As a student, he took part in many music competitions, winning first prizes in several national competitions and also first prize at the Bartók-Liszt International Piano Competition (Budapest 2001), Grand Prix at the Aleksander Tansman Music Competition (Lodz 2002), second prize at the Brahms International Music Competition (Pörtschach 2004), the special ‘press’ prize for the best performance of Liszt’s Piano Sonata at the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition (Utrecht 2005), first prize at the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition (Pécs 2007), and second prize at the Carlo Soliva International Piano Competition (Casale Monferrato 2008).
He has made five CD recordings at Hungaroton, Convention Budapest Classic and Brilliant Classics. The first solo album entitled Hungaricum won the international prize ‘Liszt Grand Prix du Disque 2005’. Now he is preparing all the pieces for Violin and Piano by Béla Bartók at Brilliant Classics with Antal Zalai, violinist.
József Balog was given the Annie Fischer Award by the Hungarian Ministry for Culture in 2005.