István Várdai, the 29 year old Hungarian cellist was honoured with several prestigious international prizes: in 2008 he won the 63th Geneva International Music Competition, and additional special prizes as well: Audience Prize, “Pierre Fournier” Prize, “Coup de Coeur Breguet” Prize. He took the third prize of the International Tchaikovsky Music Competition, Moscow in 2007. In 2006 he was awarded with the special prize of the Emanuel Feuermann Cello Competition at the Kronberg Academy and received first prize at the 13th International Brahms Competition in Austria. He was winner of the David Popper International Music Competition three times, (2000, 2003, 2004) In 2014 he won the ARD Cello Competition in Munich.
Since his debut concert in 1997 in The Hague, he has performed in New York, London, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, Dublin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Florence, Tokyo, Kobe, Beijing with great success. Along his starting career, he played with world-famous musicians and orchestras: Mikhail Pletnov, Ádám Fischer, Zoltán Kocsis, Howard Griffiths, Gilbert Varga, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Suisse Romande Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to Santander Festival, the Gergiev Festival in St. Petersburg, the Pablo Casals Festival (Spain), Festival of Radio France (Montpellier), Bellerive Festival (Switzerland), Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Verbier Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Schwetzingen Festival and the Budapest Spring Festival. In 2010 he made his debut, among others, in Carnegie Hall and the Wiener Konzerthaus and performed with Gidon Kremer, András Schiff and Yuri Bashmet in the frame of „Chamber Music Connects the World” at Kronberg Academy.
From 2004 István studied in the Class of Special Talents at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, from 2005 at the Music Academy of Vienna. Between 2010 and 2013 he continued his studies at Kronberg Academy. From 2013 he is on the staff of the Academy. He attended masterclasses of Natalia Gutman, Natalia Shakhovskaya, András Schiff and János Starker. In 2009 he was awarded the Junior Prima Prize as best young artist of the year, in 2012 he received the prestigious Prix Montblanc awarded to the world's most promising young musician. His first CD containing pieces of Janáček, Prokofiev and the Elgar cello concerto was released in October 2009 by Ysaye Records. In 2010 he recorded the cello concerto of Johann Baptist Vanhal. On his CD released by the Hännsler label in 2013 he plays works by Mendelssohn, Martinu, Paganini, Beethoven and Popper. His recent CD with both versions of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations was released in November 2014.
Mr. Várdai is, together with Kristóf Baráti, artistic director of „Kaposfest”, Hungary's leading chamber music festival. He plays a Montagnana cello from 1720.
This performance marks István Várdai's La Jolla Music Society debut.
French pianist Julien Quentin has established himself as a versatile and sensitive musician, exhibiting great maturity and poise. His remarkable depth of musicianship and distinct clarity of sound coupled with flawless technique, make him an artist in demand as both soloist and chamber musician.
He has made successful recital debuts in Paris (Salle Cortot), Geneva Conservatoire Hall and Bargemusic in New York. He has appeared as soloist with the Wroclaw, Qatar and Córdoba Philharmonic Orchestras under such conductors as Tommaso Placidi, Paul Biss, Jens Troester & Han-Na Chang. Regularly invited to numerous international Festivals, Quentin’s appearances in Europe include Verbier, Lucerne, Gstaad, Montreux, Zermatt, Dresden, Braunschweig, Schwetzingen, Ludwigsburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Beethovenfest Bonn, Radio France Montpellier, Saint Denis and Harrogate. A regular performer in North America, he has appeared at the La Jolla, Ventura, Shandelee, Virginia Arts and Mostly Mozart Festivals in the United States. He has broadcast in Canada, United States, Japan and in countries across Europe.
Julien Quentin is a keen chamber musician and has collaborated with artists such Nicolas Altstaedt, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Measha Brueggergosman, Corey Cerovsek, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, David Garrett, Nelson Goerner, Ilya Gringolts, Gary Hoffman, Angelika Kirchschlager, Lawrence Power, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Sayaka Shoji, Kirill Troussov and Tatjana Vassiljeva.
Touring internationally in America, Australia, Japan, the Middle East and throughout Europe, he has appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre in Paris, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, in Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Carnegie Halls in New York. He has recorded for EMI Classics and Sony RCA. He also performed on the harpsichord, appearing in concert with Sarah Chang and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, as well as with Thomas Quasthoff and under the baton of Leonidas Kavakos. During the 2013/14 season, solo and chamber music engagements will bring him to Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and through the United States.
Born in Paris, Julien Quentin started his studies at the Geneva Conservatory with Alexis Golovine. In 2002, he completed his Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Emile Naoumoff at Indiana University, where he held a one-year teaching position as Assistant Instructor and was a recipient of the Presser Award. In 2003, he received his Graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School, where he studied with György Sándor. He has also worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Nikita Magaloff, György Sebök, and Earl Wild.
Julien Quentin now lives in Berlin. With visual artists Emanuela Lucaci, Kevork Mourad or Norman Perryman, he explores new artistic visions bringing various art forms together. He also pursues his interest in other genres of music through his collaboration with composer Justin Messina, pianists Francesco Tristano and Rami Khalifé, or producer Martin Wheeler in projects ranging from improvisation to producing electronic music.
For more information visit www.julienquentin.com
This performance marks Julien Quentin's La Jolla Music Society debut.