József Eötvös

The name of JÓZSEF EÖTVÖS is inescapable in the world of Hungarian guitar music. He has made a mark as a festival founder, concert artist, Head of Department and artist-teacher at the Liszt Academy of Music, and founder of university-level guitar education in Hungary. From Japan to Lichtenstein, he has performed in countries all over the world, pioneering to expand the instrument's repertoire with his own transcriptions. Many of his recordings are world premieres. József Eötvös was born in 1962 in Pécs, Hungary. He studied at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar under Professor Roland Zimmer; and also studied composition there with Franz Just. Between 1985 and 1988 he became acclaimed after having won several international competitions; and he gave concerts in many European and Asian countries. In 1987, he founded the guitar department at the Pécs Teacher Training College of the Liszt Academy of Music and at the Pécs Secondary School of Art. Since 1992 he has been a professor at the Teacher Training Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, then, with the establishment of the guitar department at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, in 2002 he became the founder of university-level guitar education in Hungary. He received his doctorate in 2003 in Bratislava, and in 2009 he habilitated at the Liszt Academy. Since 2016, he has been Head of the Strings Department at the Liszt Academy of Music, and a professor. He was the first to perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations in his own transcription for solo guitar. The transcription has been hailed by international critics as transcription of the century. The resulting recording was awarded the Best Classical Music CD of the Year in Japan in 1998. Later, his transcriptions of Frédéric Chopin's works and Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances were also released on CD to great professional acclaim. In 2002, his transcription of J. S. Bach's The Art of Fugue also received the highest international critical acclaim. He was the first guitar soloist to perform several works by Béla Bartók, including the Romanian Folk Dances and Allegro Barbaro. His own compositions have been written primarily for solo guitar, guitar duo and guitar ensemble, but his chamber music works, such as the flute-guitar duo entitled 'Feathers', have also been very popular, as have been his pieces for bassoon, clarinet, and horn. In addition to the repertoire of the instrument and his own transcriptions, he devotes special attention to the promotion of twentieth century and contemporary Hungarian music. Upon his invitation, Máté Hollós and Iván Madarász composed concertos, which are at the same time the first guitar concertos written by a Hungarian composer.