Zsolt Szatmári - clarinet - section leader
Zsolt Szatmári began his music education on the violin and clarinet in Sátoraljaújhely, then continued his studies at the Béla Bartók High School of Music in Miskolc, with a specialisation in clarinet. In 1986, he won first prize and the Art Fund’s special prize at the János Richter National Woodwind Competition in Győr, allowing him to study at the Liszt Academy under Béla Kovács without having to go through the admissions process. In 1988, he received a special prize at Hungarian Radio’s National Woodwind Competition. In 1990, he won first prize and the grand prize at the international competition organized by the International Clarinet Association (ICA) in Quebec, Canada. As a university student, he received a Yamaha scholarship. He earned a degree with honours in clarinet and art pedagogy in 1991. In that same year, he gained a spot with the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra as first clarinetist. At the same time, he also became a member of the Budapest Wind Ensemble (under the artistic direction of Kálmán Berkes). Between 1992 and 2000, he served as the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s solo clarinetist. Zoltán Kocsis invited him to join the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra as its solo clarinetist in 2000. In 2002, he was voted the ensemble’s Artist of the Year. He has been teaching at the Liszt Academy since 1993, initially as a teaching assistant, then as an assistant professor, and later as an associate professor. In 2013, he obtained his doctorate (DLA). He completed his habilitation in 2019 and became a full professor the following year. He took over the leadership of the wind department at the Liszt Academy in 2022. He holds master classes at the most famous universities in the USA, Europe, Israel, Japan and Iceland, and regularly serves as a jury member or the jury chairman at clarinet and chamber competitions both in Hungary and abroad. As a soloist, he has performed with most of Hungary’s leading symphony orchestras. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the Budapest Wind Ensemble and other chamber groups in various configurations in the USA, Israel, Europe and Japan at international festivals and on concert tours.
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