Gábor Farkas is beyond doubt one of the finest pianists of his generation. His highly personal performing style has earned him the name „the poet of the piano” – a unique title coined by world famous pianist and conductor Tamás Vásáry. Farkas is well known for his huge repertoire, with an emphasis on the romantic period, and his powerful virtuoso technique combined with a soothing bel canto tone, a rare gift by which he makes his instrument sing like no one else can among his peers. In today’s high tide of top-notch piano virtuosos way too little attention is paid to tonal expression and a true style. This being said, these latter two are the qualities which make Farkas stand out as a unique musical phenomenon, being among the handful who do have a voice and a style of their own – one that is beyond compare. The richness of his piano sound, his fine taste for agogics and a perfectly balanced yet unrivalled virtuosity duly grant him a place among the very best of today’s classical music world. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, and ever since 2017 is an official Steinway artist. Farkas is a musician not only to be reckoned with and a „name to watch” as Jeremy Nicholas put it (Gramophone, London 2009), but certainly one whose art will leave a lasting mark for the future of classical music.
Gábor Farkas (1981. Ózd, Hungary) graduated from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest in 2005 after studying under Sándor Falvai and Attila Némethy. He finished his DLA studies in 2014 at his Alma Mater under the mentorship of Zoltán Kocsis and Tamás Vásáry. At the same time he was a student of Professor William Grant Naboré at the International Piano Academy Lake Como.
He made his debut at the Carnegie Hall in 2016 as the winner of the 2015 Audition of New York Concert Artists & Associates.
In 2009 in Weimar he won the 6th International Liszt Piano Competition, furthermore the Audience’s Prize and an award for the best performance of Haydn Sonata. In 2003 he received the first prize of the Hungarian National Radio’s Piano Competition, and in 2000 he was the winner of the Bartók Béla Piano Competition in Baden bei Wien. He was awarded the second prize of the International Greta Erikson Piano Competition in 2000 in Sweden and the second prize of the Andor Földes National Piano Competition in 1999.
In March 2012 he got the Franz Liszt Award (the highest Hungarian State Award for artists). In May 2009 he received the “Gundel Art Prize”, in November 2008 he was given the „Prima Junior” prize; and in March 2008 he was awarded a special state prize “The best young artist of the year”. In October 2015 he became an Honorary Citizen of his home town, Ózd.
In the past years along the concert halls of Hungary he performed in the most famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall (New York), Teatro la Fenice (Venice), BOZAR (Brussels), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), NCPA Concert Hall (Beijing), Seoul Art Center (Seoul), Oriental Art Center (Shanghai) and Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo).
He was invited to prestigious international festivals, such as the Classical Bridge Festival (New York), Spring Green Music Festival (Kanazawa), Sendai Classic Festival, Kirishima Music Festival, Budapest Spring Festival; International Piano Forum (Berlin), Schumann Festival (Zwickau), Bach Festival (Thuringia), Pélerinages-Kunstfest (Weimar), Musicathlon (Beijing), Piano Festival (Vilnius), Kaposfest, Ferenc Liszt Festival in the Castle of Gödöllő, Hungary, Festival Academy Budapest.
So far, he has worked with such worldwide known conductors as Ádám Fischer, Olli Mustonen, Charles Dutoit, Philippe Bender, George Tchitchinadze, Olaf Henzold, Kobayashi Ken-Ichiro, Zoltán Kocsis and Tamás Vásáry.
His debut CD recording entitled „An evening with Liszt” was published by Warner Music in November2008, which won the prestigious “Grand Prix” as the best Liszt recording of the year 2009 given by the Franz Liszt International Society. His second album was a live recording of the Official Opening Concert of the Liszt Year, 2011 with Zoltán Kocsis and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, published also by Warner Music in July 2011. In 2017 Steinway & Sons published his Liszt CD in January, NYC, USA, and Hungaroton released his Schumann Album in May, and a recording of Piano Concertino of Ferenc Farkas became available for the public by Toccata Classics, London in June. He made recordings also for Brilliant Classics.
In March, 2017 he’s been chosen unanimously by the Steinway Haus of New York, Hamburg and Budapest to be a Steinway Artist and represent the company worldwide and was asked to make further recordings for the company.
He was honoured to have a tenor Professor job at the Tokyo College of Music as the youngest and the first European Professor of the prestigious university in May, 2017. He is also a distinguished jury member at the PTNA International Piano Competition, Tokyo.
In 2019 he was given the Aoyama Music Award for the ’Concert of the Year’.
His latest CD of Chopin Ballades and Impromptus released by in May, 2019 earning a high acclaim in the circle of reviewers worldwide; the recording got a 5 star rating – among others – from the Fanfare Magazine and Piano News Magazin.
Currently he is the Head of Keyboard Department and Head of the Doctoral School at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, and a Guest Professor at the Tokyo College of Music, Japan.