Ildikó Szabó



"... an exceptionally gifted young cellist."

Dr. János Starker


Acclaimed for her brilliant intellect and rich musical imagination coupled with her technical virtuosity, Ildikó Szabó is a laureate of the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition where she was the winner of the overall 2nd Prize, the Audience Award, and 7 Special Prizes. She is also a top prize winner of the German Music Competition, TONALi, Popper International Competition, Janigro International Competition, and Liezen International Competition. Winner of The Solti Foundation Award, Junior Prima Award, Zoltán Kodály Award.

Ildikó Szabó’s 2016/17 Season was marked by her recital debut at the Konzerthaus Berlin where, at the invitation of Sir Alfred Brendel, she opened the festival “Homage to Alfred Brendel”. Other season’s highlights included opening the Zemplén Festival 2017 with the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok, and appearances at The long Night of Chamber Music at the Elbphilharmonie and the International Bach Festival of Gran Canaria. As a prize winner of the 2016 ‘German Music Competition’, in 2017/18 Ildikó Szabó will embark on a series of over thirty recitals throughout Germany including venues such as NDR Hannover and Beethovenhaus in Bonn. In addition, she will return to the Liszt Academy in Budapest for a complete Brahms Trio cycle and to Prussia Cove, at the invitation of Steven Isserlis, for the Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music Series.

Concerto appearances have included collaborations with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Ivan Fisher, the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Budapest, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra. As a recitalist, Ildikó Szabó has appeared in venues including the Mariinsky Theatre, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Stadthalle in Heidelberg, the Mozarteum Salzburg, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, and the Palace of Arts in Budapest. 

Invited to world leading music festivals, Ildikó Szabó has participated in the Verbier Festival, The International Holland Music Sessions, Heidelberger Frühling, Rheingau Festival, and the Budapest Spring Festival. She was invited twice to the Krzyzowa Chamber Music Festival and the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar and was a Festival Fellow at the 2016 Piatigorsky Cello Festival in Los Angeles.

Ildiko Szabó’s discography already includes two CDs for Hungaroton Classic. Her first album, “Dances of the Elves”, recorded when she was 14 years old presents a collection of virtuosic pieces. The second, a collaboration with her father, cellist Peter Szabó, released in 2014, brings back to life the music of Pablo Casals’ friend and favourite composer, Emanuel Moór. It features the Concerto for Two Cellos and Orchestra with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Miskolc conducted by Zsolt Hamar.

Born into a family of musicians, from the age of eleven, Ildikó Szabó attended the Exceptional Talents’ Class at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, in the class of Professor László Mezö. From 2007-2010, she studied every summer with the late János Starker. She is currently studying towards a master degree with Professor Jens Peter Maintz at the Berlin University of the Arts. At the Krzyzowa Music for Europe Festival Ildiko, worked with Maestro Alfred Brendel, who has since been guiding her as her mentor.

Ildikó Szabó is a scholarship holder of the Study Foundation of the German Nation currently plays an Antonio Sgarbi cello (Rome, 1894), generously loaned by the German Foundation of Musical Life.

September, 2017 - This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by Ildikó Szabó. Please contact:

Projects & Recitals

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