October 21, 2009 - Consulate General of the Republic of Hungary, New York

Concert by István Várdai cellist and Márta Ábrahám-Nagyi pianist

on the occasion of the National Day Commemorating the


Photos: Gabriella Gyorffy

Commemorative remarks by Viktor Polgár Ambassador,
Consul General of Hungary in New York

The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (civil division)

Magyar Köztársasági Érdemrend Lovagkeresztje (polgári tagozat)

was bestowed upon Ivan Sanders, Ph. D., Adjunct Assistant Professor,
Columbia University, Slavic Languages

The award was presented by Viktor Polgár and Dr. Gábor Földvári, Deputy Consul General,
 on behalf of László Sólyom, President of the Republic of Hungary

Response by Ivan Sanders, Ph. D.

October 23, 2009 was declared the

"1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight in Hungary Day"

by a proclamation of New York State Governor Paterson,
presented by Dr. Gábor Földvári Deputy Consul General of Hungary in NY

Concert by




Bach, Johann Sebastian

Suite for solo cello in C major

Antonin Dvorak

Silent Woods Op. 68/5

Béla Bartók

Rhapsody for cello and piano Sz. 88

Johannes Brahms

Hungarian Dance No. 1

Johannes Brahms

Hungarian Dance No. 6

Manuel de Falla

Fire Dance

István Várdai, cellist

When István, the young cellist goes on stage, many in Europe know by now, what to expect. "Magic" - confessed even his professors silently.

Apart from the audience's delight, the magic was honored with several prestigious international prizes: István won the 63. Concours de Geneva International Music Competition, and additional four special prizes as well in 2008: the Audience prize, "Pierre Fournier" prize, "Coup de Coeur Breguet" prize, he took the third prize of the International Tchaikovsky Music Competition, Moscow in 2007, received a Special Award from the International Tchaikovsky Charity Fund, in 2006 he was awarded with the extra prize of the "Emanuel Feuermann Cello Competition" at the Kronberg Academy, Berlin, first prize on the 13th International Brahms Competition in Austria, and was given the first prize of the "David Popper International Music Competition" three times.

Since his début concert in 1998, The Hague, The Netherlands, he performed in London, Florence, Prague, Kobe, Frankfurt, Moscow, Munich, St. Petersburg, Switzerland, France, New York, and in China with great success. Along his starting career, he played with world-famous musicians: Ádám Fisher conductor, Zoltán Kocsis conductor, St. Petersburgh Symphonic Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Music Orchestra led by János Rolla. In the summber of 2006 he was honoured with the possibility to give a concert with Radovan Vlatkovic (horn) at the Internationa Music Festival in Santander, Spain.

From 2004 István studies in the "Class of Special Talents" at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (professor: László Mező), and from 2005 he is a student of the Music Academy of Vienna (professor: Reinhard Latzko). In the past years he took the masterclasses of Nataliz Gutman, Natalia Shakhovskaja and János Starker. In March 2008 he was awarded a special state prize.

Márta Ábrahám-Nagyi, pianist

Márta Ábrahám-Nagyi studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary, where she received her Masters Diploma "Summa cum Laude" in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 1999 - studying with Professors Kornél Zempléni, András Kemenes and Márta Gulyás. She also spent a year as a student of Prof. Imre Rohmann at the Mozarteum, Salzburgh, Austria.

Márta has performed concerts in several European countries (Austria, Spain, Belgium, France,Czech Republic), and in the United States - as soloist and chamber musician. In Hungary several of her concerts were broadcast live by the Hungarian State Radio, for whom she has made a number of exclusive recordings.

She has performed in master classes given by Prof. Dimitri Bashkirov and Prof. Lívia Rév, among others. In 1992 she won Thrid Prize at one of the most prestigious national competition of Hungary, and in 1977 she received the Special Prize of the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition, Budapest, Budapest. She has also appeared in concerts with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, under the baton of Ervin Lukács and Tamás Gál.

Márta has been living in New York since 2001. She is a member of the piano faculty, as well as the senior accompanist and chamber music coordinator at LECPSM of Queens College, CUNY. In additions to that, between April 2006 and June 2009 she was te Music Director of a very exclusive learning center in Manhattan.

Besides being a performer, she is a sought-after teacher. She is proud to announce the September opening of her own Manhattan piano studio, where she offers classes to all ages and levels.

Related links:

National Commemorations - gimagine photo reports

Hungarian Consulate, New York

Hungarian Consulate General, New York - gimagine photo reports