Barnabás Kelemen has established himself as one of the leading violinists of his generation, appearing regularly as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician at many of the world’s major musical venues and festivals. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Japan and Taiwan.
In addition to having performed with all the major orchestras in Hungary, Barnabás has also performed with the Belgian National Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Holland’s Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Limburg, Prague, Arnheim, Lahti, Münich, and Saarbrucken Radio symphonies, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra among others. Festival appearances have included Jerusalem, Lockenhaus, Ittingen, Schleswig-Holsten, Menton, Moritzburg, Colmar, Cambridge, Delft, Capetown, IMS Prussia Cove, Budapest, Prague, Salzburg and Grand Teton…
He has collaborated with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Denis Russel-Davies, Eiji Oue, Robert Spano, Zoltán Kocsis, Michael Stern, Péter Eötvös, Tamás Vásáry and Rumon Gamba. Barnabás has performed at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, and New York’s Carnegie Hall where his debut was reviewed as “a dazzling performance” (American Record Guide).
Highlights for next season include solo engagements with the Greenwich Symphony, the North Netherlands Oschestra, the Halle Orchestra, the Kymi Symphony, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mainz Syimphony, the Hungarian National Symhony Orchestra and the Arnheim Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performs at the Dallas Chamber Music International series, at the Budapest Spring Festival and at the Salzburger Summer Festival in 2008 among others.
In addition to winning the Gold Medal at the 2002 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and six of the eight special prize and also the loan of the 1683 Ex-Gingold Stradivari violin and Tourte bow for four years. Barnabas has won prizes at many international competitions including Second Prize at the 1997 Szigeti Competition, First Prizes at the 1999 Mozart Competition in Salzburg, the International Piano Trio Competition in Kuhmo, and Third Prize at the 2001 Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 2007 he was awarded Grand Prize at the Central Europien Classical Music Festival.
In recognition of his talent and achievements, Barnabás Kelemen received the ‘Rózsavölgyi’ the ’Jelenlét’ and the ‘Franz Liszt’ prizes by the Hungarian Government. In 2003 he was awarded Classical Musician of the Year by Gramophone magazine (Hungary) and his recording of the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano (Hungaroton) with pianist Tamás Vásáry won France’s Diapaison d’Or. His double CD, The Complete Works for Violin and Piano by Franz Liszt, with pianist Gergely Bogányi, won the International Liszt Society’s 2001 Grand Prix du Disque. In 2006 he received the Chevalier Chross Award of the Hungarian State acknowledging his excellent professional work from the President of Hungary. Recently he was nominated as the youngest ever to award with ‘Prima Primissima Award’ in the category of musician. Barnabás Kelemen was requested to play each of the violin works and the violin solo of the Divertimento for the CD-recording series of Béla Bartók’s complete works releasing by Hungaroton.
Barnabás’ repertoire spans from early baroque to contemporary music. He performed the Hungarian premieres of the Ligeti and Schnittke Violin Concertos and gave the Hungarian premiere of Gubajdulina’s and world premiere of Kurtág’s violin pieces.
As a chamber musician, he has appeared with, amongst others, Steven Isserlis, Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki, Kirill Gerstein, Shai Wosner, José Gallardo, Radovan Vlatkovic, Claudio Bohorquez and performs regularly with Katalin Kokas (violin/viola), Miklós Perényi (cello), Dénes Várjon, Péter Nagy and Gergely Bogányi (piano).
Born in Hungary, Barnabás started his violin studies with noted Hungarian pedagogue Valeria Baranyai at the age of 6. He entered Eszter Perényi’s class at the Franz Liszt Music Academy at the age of 11. In 2001 he received his diploma and was also awarded the Sándor Végh Prize by the Sándor Végh Foundation in Budapest. In addition to his primary teachers, Barnabás has participated in master classes with Isaac Stern, Ferenc Rados, György Kurtág, Igor Ozim, Lorand Fenyves, Dénes Zsigmondy, György Pauk, Sergiu Luca and Thomas Zehetmair. Beginning in September 2005, he has began his appointment as Professor of Violin at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and teaches regularly as a guest professor at the Bloomington Indiana University. He has released 11 solo recordings and the Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra by Mozart on a double live DVD