Biography

Sándor Balatoni was born in 1983 in Pécs, Hungary. He learned to play the piano from Ildiko Megyimorecz at the Ferenc Liszt Music School. During high school he learned to play the organ from Szabolcs Szamosi. He studied composition at the Conservatory of Pecs as a student of István Gyorffy. In 2008 he got a degree in church music at the Hungarian Church Music and Liturgic Institution in Budapest. During these years he studied composition, improvisation and playing the organ from Istvan Koloss and conducting from Laszlo Tardy. He graduated ’summa cum laude’ from the University of Pecs as a conductor in 2010 as a student of Salamon Kamp DA, and Tamas Lakner DA, Liszt-prize winning conductors. In 2011 he also got a master’s degree as an organist with Republican Scholarship at the University of Pécs. His teachers were Csaba Kiraly Liszt-prize winning organist and Istvan Baroti. Since 2000 he have been the organist and choir director of the Heart of Jesus Church in Pecs. He is teaching in the Imre Eck art school in Pécs. Since 2009 he have been teaching at the University of Pecs. Since 2008 he have been a regular contributor of the Pannon Symphonic Orchestra and have participated in many recordings. He participated in the masterclasses of Hannfried Lucke (2004), Dalibor Miklavcic (2013) and the London Organ Improvisation Course led by Gerard Brooks.

In 2004 he won First Prize at the National Organ Competition at Zsámbék. He won the Special Prize of the 7th and 8th National Organ Competition at Salgotarjan in 2004 and in 2007. In 2009 he won the Special Prize of the Hungarian Jesuit Society’s choral composition competition, in 2010 he won 3rd Prize at the Millenium Jubilee Composition Contest of the Diocese of Pecs, in 2014 he won the Special Prize of the Night of the Choruses festival’s choral composition competition. His works has been performed in several countries including all neighbour countries, Italy, Belgium, China and in the US.

In 2011 he won the High Standard Prize of the Academic Society of Pecs and the University of Pecs for organ playing.

In 2012 he was awarded with the Junior Prima Prize of the Prima Primissima foundation.

At present he is participating in the doctoral school of the University of Pecs with scholarship. In 2014 he was awarded with the Fulbright scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York with prof. David Higgs.

At his repertoire there is a prominent place for hungarian organ works like the complete organ works of Franz Liszt, Zoltan Kodaly and Gabor Lisznyay-Szabo.

Major organ recitals:
‘Concertos, paintings, chants’, 2014, Balatonlelle (HUN)
Organ inauguration concert, 2013, Bogad (HUN)
Organ concert with the Mecsek choir, 2013, Jerusalem, Haifa (ISR)
Organ concert with the Bela Bartok girls’ choir, 2013, Ugento (ITA)
Water-organ marathon, 2013, Lake Balaton (HUN)
6th Church music Festival, 2013, Pecs (HUN)
23rd Bach-week, 2012, Budapest (HUN)
5th Church music Festival, 2012, Pecs (HUN)
’Hungarian organ music in Walbrook’, 2012, London (GBR)
Organ concert with the Bela Bartok male choir, 2010, Chippewa falls, Wisconsin (USA)
’Organ-marathon’, 2009, Balatonboglar (HUN)
Organ inauguration concert, 2007, Bak (HUN)
Organ concert in Högalid church, 2007, Stockholm (SWE)

Major performances as a soloist with orchestra:
Bach, J.C.: Organ Concerto in B flat major (2010, Sinfonietta, Pecs)
Handel, G.F.: Organ Concerto in g minor (Op.4, No.3.), (2009, Wirth M.)
Handel, G.F.: Organ Concerto in F major, (Op.4, No.5.), (2011, Pius Orchestra)
Handel, G.F.: Organ Concerto in F major, „The cuckoo and the nightingale” (No.13.), (2008, Wirth M.)

Major performances with orchestra:
Bach, J.S.: Cantata No.56. (2014, Galambos A.)
Bartok, B.: The miraculous mandarin (2013, Boganyi T.)
Martin, F.: Christmas Cantata (2012, Kamp S.)
Respighi, O.: Pines of Rome (2012, Vass A.)
Schubert, F.: Magnificat in C (2012, Boganyi T.)
Schubert, F.: Mass in A flat major (2012, Boganyi T.)
Bach, J.S.: Christmas-oratory (2011, Vass A.)
Elgar, E.: Enigma variations (2011, H. Williams / 2009, Rossen G.)
Faure, G.: Requiem (2011, Menesi G.)
Haydn, J.: Creation mass (2011, Vass A.)
Kodaly, Z.: Psalm Hungaricus (2011, Pesko Z. / 2010, Cziffra J.)
Liszt, F.: Christus (2011, Pesko Z.)
Liszt, F.: Missa choralis (2011, Tardy L.)
Mendelssohn, F.: 2nd Symphony „Hymn of praise” (2011, Boganyi T.)
Bach, J.S.: Magnificat (2010, Kamp S.)
Lickl, G.: Requiem (2010, Menesi G.)
Beethoven, L.: Mass in C, Op.86. (2009, Pesko Z.)
Nogradi P.: Missa (2009, Szamosi Sz.)
Monteverdi, C.: Vespro (2008, Tillai A.)
Balatoni, S.: Passion (2007, Wirth M.)

Major performed compositions:
Symphonic suite, Op.25. (2014) – orchestral piece
The relics of Attila Jozsef, Op.33 (2014) – oratorio
Mass ’Szent Morus’, Op.28. (2009) – oratorio
Passion, Op.22. (2007) – oratorio
Mass ’Orbis factor’, Op.14. (2005) – oratorio
Organ Suite No.1., Op.12. (2005) – organ
Trauerode, Op.11. (2005) – organ
Introduction, scherzo and fugue, Op.4. (2003) – organ

Major transcriptions:
Liszt F.: Dance of death ’Totentanz’ (2012) – organ, piano, percussion
Liszt F.: Crusaders March (2011) – organ / organ, male choir
Kodaly Z.: Te Deum (2011) – organ (4 hands), mixed choir, soloists

Major literary translations:
Rheinberger, J.: Prope est Dominus (2011)
Adam, A.: Cantique de Noel (2010)
Kuhnau, J.: Cantata: ’Wie schön leuchtet’ (2010)
Boyce, W.: The sorrows of my heart (2009)
Langlais, J.: Ave verum (2009)

Major treatises (hungarian):
Connection of structures and tonalities in 18th century oratorios (2012)
Festal masses in the turn of the 20th century in Paris (2011)
The function of temperament and tonality in the music of Bach (2010, thesis)
Appearance of gregorian Magnificat tones in 17th and 18th century compositions (2009)

Major sheet publications:
Lisznyay Szabo G.: Five choral arrangement (2012)
Esterhazy P.: 15 aria and duett from ’Harmonia caelestis’ (2011)
Lotti, A.: Mass in A (2010)
Lotti, A.: Requiem (2009)
Handel, G.F.: Organ Concertos (2007)
Franck, C.: Psalm 150. (2006)

Major works as an accompanist:
Weber, C.M.: The Marksman (2014, Kocsar B.)
Haydn, J.: Nelson mass (2014, Kamp S.)
Bach, J.S.: Cantata No.140. (2014, Kamp S.)
Verdi, G.: Requiem (2013, Kesselyak G.)
Beethoven, L.: Symphony No.9. (2011, Boganyi G.)
Bach, J.S.: Jesu, meine Freude (2011, Kamp S.)
Bach, J.S.: St Matthew passion (2011, Kamp, S.)
Bach, J.S.: High mass (2010, Kamp S.)
Brahms, J.: German requiem (2010, Kamp S.)
Kodaly Z.: Psalmus hungaricus (2010, Cziffra J.)
Bach, J.S.: St John passion (2009, Kamp S.)
Mendelssohn, F.: 2nd Symphony „Hymn of praise” (2009, Kamp S.)

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