STOLEN TIME Contributing Artists and Orchestra 


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Conductor Alessandro Cedrone graduated from the Conservatoire in Frosinone, Italy, as violinist, choral conductor and conductor. He studied conducting with Dario Lucantoni, conductor of the Carlo Felice opera house in Rome, and later perfected his skill with Gianluigi Gelmetti (a pupil of Celibidache) and Riccardo Muti. At the beginning of his career he worked as a choir conductor, and with the choir he founded (Corale Polifonica San Silvestro Papa) won several choir competitions in Italy. In 2008 he became director of the choir of the opera house in Ankara, and this is where he started his career as an opera conductor. From 2013 to 2019 he was General Music Director of the orchestra of the Ankara opera. In addition to productions of opera, he often conducts in orchestral concerts. In 2019 he became the General Music Director of the Romanian National Opera House in Iași. Alongside the classic Italian opera repertoire, Alessandro Cedrone has an interest in Hungarian music, and in orchestral concerts he regularly conducts works by Liszt, Bartók, and Kodály. He has collaborated with Judit Rajk in several concerts, and the Kodály works on this CD were also played in the Great Hall of the Budapest Music Academy with the Budapest Strings.

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Clarinettist Horia Dumitrache graduated as a soloist at the Bucharest and Bern Academies of Music. He has won international renown as a performer of contemporary music, thanks to which he has already played in the most prestigious festivals and concert halls in the world, partnering artists such as Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Toshio Hosokawa, Péter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, Lajos Rozmán, and Emilio Pomarico. As a chamber musician he works with world-famous ensembles such as the Klangforum Wien, the Phoenix Basel, the Metrum Ensemble, Paul Klee Bern, the Quasars Ensemble, and the Ensemble Laboratorium. Since 2015 he has been a member of Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin. In 2013 with Judit Rajk he founded the ContrasTon Ensemble, whose repertoire consists mainly of transcriptions of Renaissance and Baroque works, and contemporary compositions. He currently lives in Berlin.


Cimbalomist András Szalai was born in Budapest. He studied at the Bartók Béla Conservatoire in Budapest, and later the Liszt Academy, majoring in cimbalom and composition. His teachers were Ilona Szeverényi, István Fekete Győr, and János Vajda. He has won prizes in several music competitions. In addition to solo recitals and chamber music concerts he has played with many orchestras in Hungary and abroad, under famous conductors. He has a particularly important role in interpreting the works of contemporary composers. He is a member of several contemporary music ensembles. For many years he has been a regular chamber music partner to Judit Rajk and Horia Dumitrache. His recordings can be found in Hungarian Radio and Hungaroton. He has been awarded the Artisjus prize. He is a lecturer at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, teaching chamber music and cimbalom.

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Violinist Oszkár Varga was born in Novi Sad, and began studying the violin there. Since 1999 he has lived in Hungary, and he continued his studies under Erika Tóth, and later with Judit Szászné Réger. Between 2004 and 2009 he was a pupil of György Lendvai at the King Saint Stephen Music Secondary School, then at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music he studied under Barnabás Kelemen and Katalin Kokas. He was invited by Albert Markov to spend a year with a scholarship in the Long Island Conservatory in New York. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed in New York, Boston, Jerusalem, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, and prestigious concert halls in Hungary. He has been a regular chamber music partner of Judit Rajk since 2013, and together they have premiered many contemporary works.


The Budapest Strings chamber ensemble was formed in 1977 from the finalists at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy, under the artistic direction of Kossuth Prize winning cellist Károly Botvay, who holds the post to this day. Since 2012 the first violin has been the Liszt Prize-winner violinist János Pilz. The ensemble regularly performs in important concert halls both in Hungary and abroad. Since 1995 the orchestra has organized the International Haydn Festival in Fertőd, where they have given concerts with world-famous soloists such as David Grimal, Jenő Jandó, Lajos Lencsés, Zoltán Kocsis, Maurice Steger, Miklós Perényi, and Reinhold Friedrich. They have made CD recordings for several labels (Hungaroton, Nuova Era, Naxos, Laserlight, Capriccio): as part of an exclusive contract with Delta Music they have released over 40 recordings, including the world premiere recording of the Sinfonia Concertante series by Johann Christian Bach. The work of the orchestra was recognized with the Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 2001, the Arts Prize awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2007, and the Artisjus Prize in 2008. They have been giving concerts with Judit Rajk for many years, and as well as works by Hungarian composers they play works by Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Zelenka, Mozart, Liszt, and Dvořák.

  © Rajk 2021