When I joined the orchestra, I was only a little over 20 years old, and I can tell you it completely changed my world! Under the direction of Maestro Kobayashi, we played fantastic concerts and toured all over. He was followed by Zoltán Kocsis, who taught me more than I could imagine. To this day, I reap the benefits of all of this as I prepare for each and every one of our productions. It fills me with pride and joy to know that we in the orchestra have been able to pass on Kocsis's absolute perfectionism to posterity through the CDs we recorded together, something that was best embodied in his Bartók New Series albums.
Deborah Sipkay commenced her harp studies in Debrecen, and later completed them at the Liszt Academy in Budapest under the guidance of Hédy Lubik. During her studies at the music academy, she participated in the ARS NOVA Festival in Brussels, where she performed Sequenza II, a solo work for harp composed by Luciano Berio.
After a successful audition in 1989, she was offered a spot as a solo harpist with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra (then called the Hungarian State Philharmonic Orchestra). She held her thesis concert in 1992, qualifying her as a harpist and harp teacher.
She then went on to give harp lessons at the Liszt Academy in Budapest between 1996 and 2000.
A member of the board of the World Harp Congress since the early 2000s, she was elected to the organisation's New Music Committee in 2010.
Since 2012, she has taught harpists at the King Saint Stephen High School of Music. Her students have won many Hungarian and international awards at harp competitions. In 2019, she served as a member of the jury of the Fifth Szeged International Harp Competition.
She has collaborated on numerous recordings used for CDs, radio and television. One of these was a release from the Marco Polo record label, which compiled works by Kurt Atterberg, including his Trio Concertante for Violin, Cello and Harp, on which she was joined by violinist András Kiss and cellist György Kertész. The Capriccio record label also commissioned her to partner on a recording with flutist János Bálint.
She has partnered with the Weiner-Szász Chamber Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, playing such works as Debussy's Danse sacrée et danse profane (under the baton of Imre Rohmann), Ravel's Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet, Braga Santos's Variations Concertantes for Strings and Harp and Ernst von Dohnányi's Concertino for Harp and Chamber Orchestra, in addition to recording a CD of Isang Yun's harp concerto Gong-Hu with László Tihanyi conducting.
Together with János Bálint and violist Péter Bársony, she premièred Balázs Horváth's 2005 piece Symmetry-Asymmetry for Flute, Viola and Harp, which the trio had commissioned from him.
She has performed Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major with numerous partners and orchestras, including with Gabriella Pivon and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, with Zoltán Kocsis conducting, with Béla Drahos and the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra under Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, and with Sir James Galway, who also conducted, and Concerto Budapest. She has also been invited to perform it abroad, in partnership with János Bálint, in Austria and Serbia.
In the autumn of 2019, together with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and its woodwind soloists, she performed Paul Hindemith's Concerto for Woodwinds, Harp and Orchestra at Budapest's Vigadó Concert Hall.