main biography repertoire reviews media centre contact
„Her technique is immaculate, (...) she is a true performer.“
Iván Fischer, Music Director of Budapest Festival Orchestra


Hailed by critics as „more than an extraordinary talent“, the young virtuoso cellist Ildikó Szabó has established herself as one of the most exciting musical talents of the new generation. In September 2014, Ildikó has won the II. Prize, the Audience Award, and 7 Special Prizes at one of the World’s most prestigious music competitions, at the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition. She is acclaimed for her phenomenal technique and her creative musical imagination.

She has been a prize winner at 16 international competitions and has received a number of important awards. In 2013, Ildikó received the Junior Prima Prize, one of the most important prizes for young outstanding artists in Hungary. She has won the Zoltán Kodály Award at the International Summer Academy „ISA“ 2014 in Semmering. Throughout the 2017/2018 season Ildikó will give concerts in more than 25 cities across Germany as a scholarship recipient of the 2016 German Music Competition.

Ildikó was born in 1993 into a family of musicians. As a prodigious cellist, she was admitted at the age of 11 to the Exceptional Talents’ Class at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, in the class of Professor László Mező. Since October 2011, she has been working with Professor Jens Peter Maintz at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Ildikó has made numerous appearances in some of the world’s greatest concert halls: Konzerthaus Berlin, Mariinsky Theater II, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Auer Concert Hall in Bloomington (Indiana, USA), Casa da Musica in Porto, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, and the Palace of Arts in Budapest. Concerts at world leading music festivals include the Verbier Festival, Piatigorsky Cello Festival Los Angeles, The International Holland Music Sessions, Heidelberger Frühling, Rheingau Festival, and the Budapest Spring Festival. In 2015 Ildikó has participated at the Krzyzowa Chamber Music Festival, where she received coachings by Alfred Brendel, and collaborated with Arnold Steinhardt, Viviane Hagner, Volker Jacobsen, Clemens Trautmann, Claudio Bohórquez, and Dénes Várjon, among others. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras such as Budapest Festival Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Budapest, Hungarian Radio Orchestra, Porto Symphony Orchestra, and Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; and with conductors like Iván Fischer, Michael Sanderling, Luciano di Martino, Gábor Takács-Nagy, András Keller, Zsolt Hamar, and Tamás Vásáry.

Important influences have come from world-acclaimed musicians, such as János Starker, Lynn Harrell, Natalia Gutman, Philippe Muller, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Lluis Claret, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Gustav Rivinius, Reinhard Latzko, and Claudio Bohórquez, among others.

At the age of 14, she released her first CD recording, “Dances of the Elves”, under Hungaroton Classic label, where she presents some of the most virtuosic pieces of the cello repertoire. This recording has been praised internationally. At the age of 18, she produced her first DVD recording, which contains works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Martinu, and Kodály’s Solo Sonata. In 2014, the CD recording of Emanuel Moór: Concerto for Two Cellos and Orchestra has appeared, performing with his father Péter Szabó and the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Miskolc, conducted by Zsolt Hamar.

Since March 2013, she has been playing an Antonio Sgarbi cello (Rome, 1894), generously loaned to her by the German Foundation of Musical Life. She is a scholarship recipient of the Study Foundation of the German Nation.

January, 2016 - This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by Ildikó Szabó. Please contact: info@ildikoszabo.com