Bartók World Competition

András Keller

András Keller, leader of the Concerto Budapest orchestra, founder of the Keller Quartet and Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, has received a string of awards, including the Liszt, Bartók-Pásztory and Kossuth Prizes, the Meritorious Artist award, a prize from the French Minister for Culture, the Mozart Prize (with his Quartet), an award from the city of Bonn, Italy’s Artist of the Year award and the MIDEM Prize, as well as numerous awards for recordings with his quartet (the Diapason d’Or, Prix Caecilia, New York Times Best Recordings of the Year, Gramophone Award, Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and Victoire Prix).


He began playing the violin at age six and enrolled at the Liszt Academy of Music at fourteen, studying with Dénes Kovács, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág. In Salzburg, he was taught by Sándor Végh. He won the Hubay violin competition in 1983, upon which he was invited by János Ferencsik to take the post of concert master at the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra while performing as a soloist with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1984 and 1991, he was also concert master of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Established in 1987, the Keller Quartet (András Keller, János Pilz, Zoltán Gál and Judit Szabó) won the world’s two major string quartet competitions in 1990, the one in Evian and the Borciani in Reggio Emilia. The ensemble regularly performs at key European and American festivals and concert halls and has toured Japan, Central and South America, and New Zealand several times. High points in Keller’s career include joint concerts with Sándor Végh, a festive concert at the Barbican to mark the 50th anniversary of Béla Bartók’s death, where he appeared at the invitation of Sir Georg Solti, and an invitation from Princess Diana. He often appears at major festivals, such as the Salzburg Festwochen, Lucerne and the Montreux Festivals, London Proms, Mostly Mozart (New York), Berliner Festspiele, Schubertiade, Wiener Festwochen, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Prague Spring. András Keller holds master classes in many places around the world, including the Internationale Sommerakademie, the Prussia Cove IMS master classes, Yale University, the Accademia Fiesole (Florence) and the Royal Academy of Music. His conducting debut took place with the Orchestre di Padova e Veneto in February 2003. In 2006, Keller and Dénes Várjon launched the Sándor Végh Musical Evenings and founded the Végh Philharmonic. As a recitalist, he has played at nearly all the world’s leading concert venues: the Musikverein, Konzerthaus (Vienna), Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus (Berlin), Accademia di Santa Caecilia (Rome), Concertgebauw (Amsterdam), Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.