Dr. Sandor Balatoni was born in 1983 in Pecs, Hungary. He learned to play the piano from Ildiko Megyimorecz at the Franz Liszt Music School. During high school he learned to play the organ from Szabolcs Szamosi, at the same time he studied composition at the Conservatory of Pecs as a student of Istvan 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 prof. Salamon Kamp, and prof. Tamas Lakner, Liszt-Prize winning conductors. In 2011 he also got a master’s degree as an organist with Republican Scholarship at the University of Pecs. His teachers were prof. Csaba Kiraly Liszt-Prize winning organist and Istvan Baroti. He has finished his doctoral studies at the University of Pecs and at the Eastman School of Music at prof. Salamon Kamp and prof. David Higgs. He has received his doctoral degree in 2017. Since 2014 he has been the titular organist and choir director of the Heart of Jesus Church in Pecs. Since 2021 he has been an assistant professor and deputy director at the University of Pecs Faculty of Arts. He has been the organist of the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra, the accompanist of the Pannon Festival Choir and have participated in many recordings as an organist. Since 2016 he has been the conductor of the Mecsek Choir.
He has participated in the masterclasses of Dalibor Miklavcic, David Briggs, Duncan Middleton, Gerard Brooks, Hannfried Lucke, Martin Herchenröder, Pierre Pincemaille, Ronny Krippner, Sophie Véronique Cauchefer Choplin, Stefan Engels, Zsigmond Szathmáry and Tomas Adam Nowak in Hungary, Germany, England and in the United States. He played several recitals overall Europe and in the United States.
In 2004 he won First Prize at the National Organ Competition at Zsambek. 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. In 2014 he was awarded with the Fulbright scholarship, with the Mecsek Choir he won Laurea cum laude Prize at the 2nd International Budapest Choir Festival, at the Croatia Cantat he won 1st Prize in their category and also has received the Conductor’s Special Prize. In 2016 he has been awarded with the Csorba Prize for his composition. In 2017 he has won 1st Prize at the European Award for Choral Composers from the European Choral Association. In 2018 he has won 2nd Prize at the chant composition contest of the International Eucharistic Congress. In 2019 he has won 2nd Prize at the Chanakkale International Choir Festival with the Mecsek Choir in Turkey just as the Special Prize of Chanakkale Municipality and the Special Prize for the best repertoire. In 2019 he was granted to be the Travelling Ambassador of the University of Pécs. In 2020 he has won the prize of the Trianon and Müpa (Palace of Arts) jubilee competition contest with his choral pieces, just as the fund of the Scientific and Artistic Committee of the University of Pécs for his composition. In 2021 he has won 3rd Prize at the HangKELTŐ choral composition competition, Budapest and Special Prize at the International Choral Competition Ave Verum, Baden. In 2022 he was awarded with the composer’s KÓTA Prize.