Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen began studying the violin under Valéria Baranyai; as a student of Eszter Perényi, he graduated from the Liszt Academy of Music in 2001. He was enormously influenced by his later teachers, Isaac Stern, Ferenc Rados, and Zoltán Kocsis. He studied conducting from two giants of the Finnish tradition, Leif Segerstam and Jorma Panula.
Barnabás has achieved outstanding results in prestigious contests, including first prizes at both the 1999 International Mozart Violin Competition in Salzburg and the 2002 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and third prize at Brussels’ 2001 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition. His artistry has been recognized with the highest professional and state honours: he has been awarded Liszt and Kossuth Prizes and Prima and Gramophone Awards, and is the holder of the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.
Barnabás has conquered the most famous concert halls in the world with his virtuoso technique and dynamic, passionate playing style. Versatile and open-minded, he is an outstanding soloist and chamber musician, as well as an artistic director of festivals and a teacher at renowned institutions. In recent years he has also worked as a conductor.
Together with Katalin Kokas, Barnabás is the founder and artistic director of the Festival Academy Budapest Chamber Music Festival. From 2010 to 2018 he was the leader of the Kelemen Quartet, which enjoyed a stellar international career. He is currently a professor at two illustrious institutions: Budapest’s Liszt Academy and the University of Cologne.
Barnabás Kelemen performs on the “ex-Dénes Kovács” Guarneri del Gesú violin of 1742, generously loaned to him by the Hungarian State.