Jozsef Lendvay is one of the most outstanding contemporary violinists. Thanks to his virtuoso skills and charisma, he has gained enormous popularity all over the world. Born in Budapest in 1974, he began learning to play the violin at the age of five. Initially taught by his father, Jozsef Lendvay Sr., after a few years he had his first successes one of them being the 1st Prize in a competition for young violinists held in Hungary’s capital. At the age of eight, he became a student of Franz List Academy of Music, Budapest, in professor Miklos Szenthelyi’s class of violin. He also learnt from such famous personages as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Ida Haendel, Igor Oistrakh, Ruggiero Ricci, Jaap van Zweden, Sandor Vegh and Dorothy DeLay.
Jozsef Lendvay is a laureate in numerous international violin competitions, among them being the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion Valais, Switzerland. In addition, he claimed a high number of prestigious awards and scholarships. His talent and accomplishments were appreciated in 1997 when he received the Gold Cross from the President of the Republic of Hungary.
Jozsef Lendvay’s repertoire is highly impressive as it includes most violin works, both solo and orchestra accompaniment. As early as at the age of sixteen, he already successfully played all the capriccios by Niccolo Paganini, which was remarkable amongst other violinists of his generation. As the artist, he cooperated with the best solists and conductors like Yuri Bashmet, Giora Feidman, Andrea Bocelli, Sir Simone Rattle, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Prof. Krzysztof Penderecki. He gave concerts in the most prestigious concert halls on five continents, e. g. New York (Carnegie Hall, 2009), Los Angeles (Walt Disney Concert Hall), Shanghai (Shanghai Concert Hall), London (Royal Albert Hall), St Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), Johannesburg (Linder Auditorium), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colone) and Rio de Janeiro (Teatro Municipal). For a long time he has been collaborating with Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO), conducted by maestro Iván Fischer. The result of the cooperation was the recording of Johannes Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, orchestrated by Iván Fischer, and published by Philips. Jozsef also performed with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonic of the Nations, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Moreover, Joszef Lendvay performed at Castel Gandolfo, having been invited and awarded the Medal for his cultural contribution by Pope John Paul II, and also played for very important businesspeople and politicians like Mikhail Gorbachev, Angela Merkel, George Bush Sr, Helmut Kohl and Professor Reinhold Wurth.
The artist has participated in Europe’s most prominent festivals like Schleswig Holstein and MDR Musiksommer (Germany), Salzburger Festspiele and Feldkirsch Festival (Austria), Brescia and Bergamo Festival (Italy), Edinburgh International Festival and BBC-Proms, London. In 2009 he got the status of the leading solist at Musiclandschaft Westfalen, Germany, and in 2012, at its another edition, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki.
Jozsef Lendvay is a very universal violinist. Apart from classical music, he performs folk music coming from Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Russia. Klezmer music is another important part of his repertoire, which could have been induced by Jozsef’s partly-Gypsy, partly-Jewish family background. This might be why his performances of Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane nad Pablo de Sarasate’s Gypsy Melodies sound so authentically and uniquely.
Back in 2005, Jozsef Lendvay won the “Echo Prize” award, in the category of Klassik ohne Grenzen, for his Lendvay CD, recorded for Sony Classical. He received the statue amongst stars like Annie Sophie Mutter, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko. For a long time, the album topped classical music charts in South Korea and Japan.
The instrument Jozsef Lendvay plays is a 1693 Stradivari called Ex-Ries.